One of the most alarming trends in the USA is over the counter drug abuse by teenagers. Often this activity is viewed as safe because youths believe that if it is widely available without a prescription it must not be harmful, but nothing could be further from the truth. Some of the most commonly abused OTC medications include cough syrups and cold medicines that contain DMX, alertness aids that are designed to keep the user awake, and allergy medications that may cause a speed like reaction. Many OTC medications can be purchased by all ages and identification is not usually required. One of the biggest risks may come from other ingredients, which can be harmful if taken in large amounts.
Many cold medications may contain acetaminophen which can be dangerous even if a small overdose occurs. Nyquil and some other products not only contain this ingredient but also alcohol, which can be a one two punch to the liver and other internal organs. One popular OTC drug with teens is Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold medication. This is one of the most frequently misused drugs on the market. This product contains both dextromethorphan and chlorpheniramine, both of which can lead to serious complications and medical problems up to and including death. Most cough syrups on the market contain dextromethorphan, and this ingredient is found in more than 100 cough products right on the store shelves. In some cases over the counter pain relievers are also abused, and this can be very risky because of the large amounts consumed. Energy drinks and caffeine products are also extremely popular.