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Five percent of teens say they have abused over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine containing the cough suppressant ingredient dextromethorphan (DXM) to get high. While millions of Americans safely rely on OTC cough medicines containing DXM to relieve their cough symptoms, those intentionally looking to get high ingest large amounts of DXM to get high – sometimes more than 25 times the recommended dose of these medicines.

Many teens say they abuse this medicine because it is easy to get – they can take it from a home medicine cabinet or purchase it themselves. Passage of a national law to limit teen access would be a powerful tool in the fight to prevent teen cough medicine abuse. The Preventing Access to Cough Treatments (PACT) Act (S. 644) would prohibit those under 18 from purchasing these medicines.

This bill would:
1. Ban the sale of DXM to those under 18 without a prescription, and
2. Ensure that only legitimate entities can buy raw, unfinished (bulk) DXM.

Please join us in the fight by reaching out to your legislators, urging them to support the PACT Act. Send the letter below to your senators and urge your family to do the same!

To: Senator [Name]

I’m writing to ask you to cosponsor the bipartisan Preventing Access to Cough Treatments (PACT) Act (S. 644). As you know, medicine abuse is a significant problem in our country. With prescription drug abuse on the rise, over-the-counter (OTC) medicine abuse often flies under the radar. Yet, this is a serious problem that Congress can take a stand against and address through passage of S. 644.
Approximately one in 20 teens has abused OTC cough medicine containing the cough suppressant ingredient dextromethorphan (DXM) to get high. Those teens looking to get high ingest large amounts of DXM– sometimes more than 25 times the recommended dose of these medicines.
Limiting teen access is one of the many ways we can prevent abuse – along with talking to teens about the risks and monitoring the medicines in the home. Many teens say DXM is easy to get, as they can purchase it themselves. S. 644 would put a stop of the sale of these medicines to teens.
S. 644, introduced by Sens. Bob Casey (PA) and Lisa Murkowski (AK), would:

1. Ban the sale of DXM to those under 18 without a prescription, and
2. Ensure that only legitimate entities can buy raw, unfinished (bulk) DXM.

I urge you to sign on as a cosponsor to S. 644 to help put a stop to OTC cough medicine abuse. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this important issues and thank you for your consideration of my views.

Sincerely,

[insert your name]

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