You can buy them over the counter which makes over the counter drugs easy for kids to buy and abuse. "Things are out there all over our homes, our cabinets, grocery stores and drug departments that kids can pick up readily." Sara Wilson is the Education Specialist for Lubbock Independent School District's Safe and Drug Free Schools program. It's her job to educate students and parents about drugs. And she says, it's easy for junior high and high school students to fall victim to drug abuse, especially those that are easily assessable. "We're a self medicating society. I've got a cold, take some medicine. I've got a headache, stomped my toe, whatever, we want that immediate gratification that immediate relief of pain so when a child that has grown up in the instant microwave society, it's done, then they're under those stresses and they make and seek a relief and unfortunately it may be with substance abuse."
It's that quick and easy high, kids nationwide are turning to. It's called Skittling. That's because, you can pour out a bag of Skittles and you can compare the candy to the little red pill known as Corcidin. Both look similar and like, candy, taking too much Corcidin or other medicines like Suphedrine can make you extremely hyper. But in this case, the excitability can be dangerous.
Wal-Mart Pharmacist David Webb says, "It can really pump them up. Some people, kids if they take too much, they can't get them to settle down, like having ADHD."
Two types of drugs are commonly abused, those containing dextromethorphan, or DXM and those with pseudoephedrine. DXM is a safe and effective cough suppressant found in over the counter medicines like Corcidin and Robitussin. Abusing the drug can cause a rapid heart rate, hallucinations, nausea, dizziness and confusion.. Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant used to drain the sinuses. Side effects are similar to drugs containing DXM, but Webb, say many Lubbockites crush up the drugs to make methanephetamines. "We worry more about them making meth labs."
That's why retailers are taking a proactive stance to the problem. At Wal-Mart, a customer is limited to purchasing three boxes or less of certain over the counter drugs. You must be 18 years or older to purchase other drugs. The clerk will ask for your id as the register prompts it.
Age limitations that Wilson says is important. Wilson says, "It takes a community member to raise a child. I think that is a true statement you know we're done it with cigarettes and with tobacco. Kids can't run in and buy mom and dad's cigarettes. We've done it with inhalants and now with common cold medicines. I think that says something about the community, that it cares."
These are Safety Solutions that not only Wal-Mart is taking, but ones that Wilson says parents should take as well. "As parents we've got to be responsible to know our children. Ask yourself, do I know my child? Where are they? Who are they? What are they doing and what is their norm?. What is their behavior like? When you're available for the good stuff, then they're more likely to come and talk to you about the bad stuff."
With any type of drug abuse, Wilson says education is key. Education is available for students and parents. Call Safe and Drug free schools at 766-1968 for more information. For information on current drug trends you can ( click here ).