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U.S. CONGRESSMAN BILL JOHNSON Proudly Representing Eastern and Southeastern Ohio

Press Releases

Reps. Johnson, Matsui Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Reduce Teen Abuse of Over-the-Counter Cough Medicines

H.R. 1271 would prohibit the sale of cough medicines containing the ingredient dextromethorphan to minors

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Salem, March 2, 2017 | Ben Keeler (330.337.6951) | comments
Congressman Bill Johnson and Congresswoman Doris Matsui, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced the DXM Abuse Prevention Act, in a bipartisan effort to prevent teen abuse of over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, commonly referred to the DXM. The bill would establish a national age-18 requirement for the purchase of the medicines containing DXM.
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Congressman Bill Johnson and Congresswoman Doris Matsui, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced the DXM Abuse Prevention Act, in a bipartisan effort to prevent teen abuse of over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, commonly referred to the DXM. The bill would establish a national age-18 requirement for the purchase of the medicines containing DXM.

Johnson and Matsui introduced similar legislation during the previous session of Congress.

A 2014 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) study found that 1 in 30 teens admits to abusing DXM – sometimes taking more than 25 times or more of the recommended dose when abusing these medicines. Abuse of DXM (sometimes referred to as “dexing” or “robotripping”) leads to side effects including nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, blurred vision, dizziness, and disorientation.

“Teens are taking large doses of cough and/or cold medicine to get high, largely because of its easy availability,” said Bill Johnson. “Teenagers, parents, and leaders in every community across America need to be educated about this danger that can so easily fly under the radar. While we want to make sure that we are keeping these cough medicines available to the majority of Americans that use them to treat their cold or flu, we also must work to keep kids from developing addictive behaviors by abusing such substances at an early age.”

Johnson added, “This is a simple, common sense, bipartisan effort, and I thank Congresswoman Matsui for again joining me, and for her continued leadership on this important issue. We must continue to educate, guard against, and work to prevent this abuse; our communities deserve it.”

“This bill is a common sense way to ensure cough medicine remains accessible to those that use it appropriately, and inaccessible to those who seek to abuse it,” said Congresswoman Doris Matsui. “With the help of advocates, retailers, and manufacturers nationwide, we’ve already made tremendous progress in curbing the abuse of DXM by teens. By creating a national standard, we build on this progress, and protect the health and well-being of teens across the country.”

The Energy and Commerce Committee passed the DXM Abuse Prevention Act unanimously in the 114th Congress. H.R. 1271 introduced today improves upon the previous version by incorporating additional input from stakeholders to ensure that any burden on retailers that sell DXM products would be minimal.

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