Washington, D.C. (August 8, 2012) – Today the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) announced Peggy McKibbin as the newest mom to join its Five Moms campaign to raise parental awareness of teen cough medicine abuse. McKibbin is a mother of two and a school nurse from Magnolia, Del.
Millions of Americans use medicines containing dextromethorphan (DXM) – a safe and effective ingredient found in more than 100 over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold products – for relief from cough symptoms responsibly. However, some teens intentionally abuse cough medicine containing DXM in excessive amounts – sometimes as much as 25 times or more the recommended dose – to get “high.” According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s 2011 Monitoring the Future report, nearly 5 percent of teens abuse OTC cough medicines.
CHPA, which represents the leading makers of OTC medicines, launched the Five Moms campaign in 2007 with the goal of driving parents to action – to educate themselves on medicine abuse, to talk with their children about the risks of such abuse, to safeguard medicines in their homes, and to spread the word to other parents.
“After hearing that some of my middle and high school students abused cough medicine to get high, I knew I needed to bring attention to this serious issue and help educate my students about the dangers of both OTC and prescription medicine abuse,” said McKibbin, a member of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN).
“I am very passionate about creating a healthy and safe environment for my community and students which includes preventing medicine abuse. As one of the Five Moms, I am excited to have an even bigger platform to reach families and raise awareness of cough medicine abuse.”
Most recently a school nurse at Postlethwait Middle School in Camden, Del., McKibbin will begin serving as school nurse for Polytech High School in Woodside, Del., at the start of this school year.
In 2009, CHPA introduced an educational icon on the packaging of cough medicines containing DXM to alert parents to the potential for abuse and combined Five Moms and all of its efforts to prevent teen cough medicine abuse into one comprehensive website: StopMedicineAbuse.org. This website provides access to all of the industry’s initiatives and interactive programs to engage parents and community leaders in the fight against teen cough medicine abuse. StopMedicineAbuse.org also has an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to spread the word about the abuse of cough medicines.
“We are trhilled to have Peggy as the newest member of the Five Moms,” CHPA President and CEO Scott M. Melville said. “Her dedication to protecting the health and well-being of teens throughout her 15 years as a school nurse demonstrates the passion she has for this issue. Peggy’s efforts show how every parent can use their unique role in their communities to educate parents about the dangers of medicine abuse and to encourage them to talk to their teens.”
The Five Moms campaign features five dedicated mothers from a variety of backgrounds and geographic locations. The four other moms on the campaign are:
• Becky Dyer, a former D.A.R.E. officer and deputy sheriff;
• Blaise Brooks, a caretaker and accountant;
• Christy Crandell, an author and founder of a treatment and recovery center for teens; and
• Tammy Walsh, a high school math teacher and community advocate.
CHPA and its members are involved in multiple efforts to curb the abuse of OTC cough medicines containing DXM with the help of a host of partners, including the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), NASN and The Partnership at Drugfree.org, among other parent groups, health professional societies, law enforcement, the retail community and pharmacists.
“Peggy McKibbin has been at the forefront of NASN’s work in substance abuse prevention. As a dedicated school nurse, she implements medicine abuse prevention programs for students, faculty, and parents within her school district,” NASN President Linda Davis-Alldritt said.
“School nurses throughout the country are proud that a NASN member has joined the Five Moms campaign. NASN congratulates Peggy and is confident she will share her expertise as a mom and a school nurse in advancing the goals of the campaign.”
For more information on efforts to raise awareness of teen cough medicine abuse, visit StopMedicineAbuse.org.
Contact: Jenni Terry, 202.429.9260
CHPA is the 131-year-old-trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements.