Adolescent Use/Misuse of
Over the Counter Medication
Dr. Jason Baker, UCC
The Rev’d. John Runza, LCS
• Context – How and why this came to be a
• The Response – what our schools can and
Rev. Runza & Dr. Baker
• Why is this an important topic for our
- Research says “What illicit drugs like cocaine and ecstasy were to the 90’s and early 00’s, Rx
and OTC (over the counter meds) are to this millennial generation.
- Recent studies show that in 2010 2.4 million people age 12 or older began using Rx drugs for
non-medical reasons. 6,600 people a day.
- Dr. Ben Levenson, Founder of the Origins Recovery Center (rehab centre in Texas) and many
others affirm that “we are in the middle of an opioid epidemic. But he specifically said “What’s
interesting to know is that it’s not just an opioid epidemic, it’s a prescription opioid epidemic.”
- Reality at LCS… have started to see students under the influence of Rx and OTC meds. Many
of my male students are saying that their ‘drug of choice’ is now Robitussin DM
(dextramathorephine). Also seen Gravol use.
- Referred to as “Lean” or Sizzrup – made famous by rappers like L’il Wayne – drink 20 ozs of
Sprite and 4 ozs of Robitussin DM or another syrup that could either contain DM or Codeine.
Seems interchangeable. The new drug dealer is OUR own medicine cabinets.
- Have you seen this in your schools? Discussion? - You Tube – My Honest Thoughts About DXM •
2.4 million people age 12 or older began using prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.
Partnership for a Drug Free Canada link:
Case Studies – story sharing… LCS, others?
Dextromethorphin (Robitussin DM)– euphoria,
Dimenhydrinate (Gravol) – audio & visual hallucinogen,
Doxylamine (Nyquil) –hallucinogenic properties
Fentanyl, Oxycodon, – Rx Meds with Opioid properties
Diphenydramine (Benadryl) – delirient, hallucinogen
Ether – similar to alcohol, drunk & sober faster (not easy to
Others? Your School?
• Education – Staff, Students, Parents • Clear, Current & Accessible Policies • Support Programs for Addicted Users
- Large group, small group, individual discussions – chapels, house meetings,
- Classroom & Health Class – have to know that we are going beyond the street
alcohol & drug culture to the ‘medicine cabinet’ culture
- Policies: LCS School Life Guide (pg. 49)
– “The Illegal Use of Medica=on (including over the counter, non-‐control ed substances) – The non-‐medical use of these drugs is considered a serious health hazard and is proved to be
a gateway to (harder) drug use later in students’ lives, for this reason such drug use is strictly
forbidden and the school takes this behaviour very seriously. Students who contravene this
policy wil be required to aKend a mee=ng of the standards commiKee and wil be liable for
suspension from the school. Students who traﬃc over the counter, non-‐control ed substances
may be liable for expulsion from the school.”
- Keep watchful eye, look in garbage cans, on kids counters in rooms and
bathrooms, know your local pharmacists and have them call you if students
purchasing larger than normal amounts of these otc meds.
- What are you doing in your schools right now – specifically as it pertains to
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