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Wolf Creek Helps Teens Who Abuse Cold & Cough Medicine

Wolf Creek Academy understands that abuse of cold and cough medicine with teenagers is a troubling fact that parents must know about, and address before it’s too late.

Consuming cough medicine for an instant high certainly isn’t a new practice for teens who have raided the medicine cabinet for a quick, cheap, and legal high for decades. But unfortunately, this dangerous, potentially deadly practice is on the rise. So it’s important for parents to understand the risks and know how to prevent their teen from intentionally overdosing on cough and cold medicine.

About Medicinal Abuse

Before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) replaced the narcotic codeine with dextromethorphan as an over the counter (OTC) cough suppressant in the 1970s, teens were simply guzzling down cough syrup for a quick buzz. Over the years, teens discovered that they still could get high by taking large doses of any OTC medicine containing dextromethorphan (also called DXM).

DXM can be found in:

    • Tablets
    • Capsules
    • Gel caps,
    • Lozenges
    • Syrups
  • Anything labeled DXM, cough suppressant, or Tussin

Medicines containing dextromethorphan are easy to find, affordable for low-income teens, and ironically legal. Getting access to the dangerous drugs is as easy as walking into the local dollar store to buy helium-filled balloons. And because it’s found in over-the-counter medicines, many teenage girls and boys naively assume that DXM can’t be dangerous.

What happens with DMX consumption?

Although DXM can be safely taken in small doses to suppress a cough, abusers tend to consume as much as an entire bottle in one sitting. Teenagers taking mass quantities of products containing DXM can cause hallucinations, loss of motor control, and dissociative sensations.

Possible Side Effects

  • Confusion
  • Impaired judgement
  • Disorientation (slurred speech or blurry vision)
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures/convulsions
  • Death

Prevention of Medicinal Abuse

  • Lock your medicine cabinet or keep those OTC medicines that could potentially be abused in a less accessible place.
  • Avoid stockpiling OTC medicines. Having too many at your teen’s disposal could make abusing them more tempting.
  • If you suspect your teen is abusing OTC medications, keep track of how much is in each bottle or container in your medicine cabinet.
  • Keep an eye out not only for traditional-looking cough and cold remedies in your teen’s room, but also odd-looking tablets (DXM is often sold on the Internet and on the street in its pure form in various shapes and colors).
  • Monitor your child’s Internet usage. Be on the lookout for suspicious websites and emails that seem to be promoting the abuse of DXM or other drugs, both legal and illegal.

A Hope and a Future for Your Teen at Wolf Creek Academy 

A faith-based therapeutic boarding school, Wolf Creek Academy instills character, integrity, responsibility and accountability, all while giving your struggling teenager the opportunity to achieve a quality education.

Wolf Creek Academy’s family-model lifestyle offers a safe, nurturing environment that encourages teens to build positive relationships with authority figures as well as their peers.  Our professional staff works with students to teach them invaluable life lessons and independent skills that will be beneficial for their future. We educate the whole child from a Biblical worldview, assisting with their spiritual, physical and emotional development.  We believe children should be built up, loved and nurtured with appropriate discipline, and that every student is unique with potential.

Counseling is provided for teens struggling with behavioral and emotional problems, and they meet with a licensed certified counselor at least once weekly.  Daily group sessions address anger management issues and respect of authority, self-respect, or other relevant issues.  The non-threatening atmosphere of this small group session allows them to learn from each other appropriate ways of managing their respective behavioral difficulties. Local psychiatric monitoring is available for students who require it.

Every student is dual-enrolled with the accredited Lighthouse Christian Academy, whose purpose is to support the mission of Wolf Creek. Whether a high achiever or moderately paced learner, children work at their own ability and appropriate level.  We help students master curriculum knowledge via the Accelerated Christian Education system, utilizing daily classroom type settings, and providing any additional tutoring needed. Our therapeutic and nurturing environment is a safeguard for success. Students thrive while having the opportunity to advance at their own pace; most often an accelerated pace which boosts self-respect, repairs self-confidence and promotes security for a successful future.  Our program is designed to meet the learning needs of the individual child and each one is rewarded for their efforts.

Find Help Now at Wolf Creek Academy

So many teens have lost sight of a clear and positive future, but we see so many reach for their highest potential when given the tools and education to do so. Please call Wolf Creek Academy at (877) 477-9653 if you have tried everything, and are ready to see your struggling child develop into a successful young adult.