October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

Parents: did you know that 1 in 30 youth ages 12 through 17 has misused cough medicine to get high from its dextromethorphan ingredient?

Over-the-counter cough medicine can have negative outcomes if misused. Securely store and monitor cough medicine in the home to prevent misuse.

We encourage parents, guardians and caregivers of youth to secure and monitor both prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Parents/guardians are encouraged to review the labels on medications in their medicine cabinets


Make sure you are doing your part to keep your community safe by securing all medications in the home and disposing of medications properly.
We encourage parents and guardians to know the slang terms that are used to describe cough syrup misuse

Pet owners: did you know that the medication the veterinarian prescribed for your pet can be misused by people trying to get high?
Make sure that all medications, for both humans and animals, are securely stored out of sight and out of reach.

30th Annual CADCA Leadership Forum

During the 30th Annual Community of Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) Leadership Forum members of the Stokes Citizens coalition attended breakout sessions designed to increase our understanding and knowledge of a variety of substances and issues that affect Stokes County youth and adults.

The following links will take you to the notes/posts we took related to those breakout sessions. Please use the Contact Us form on our main page, or Facebook messenger, to get more information for topics that you are interested in.

CADCA Breakout Session: Put An End to ENDS- Youth Vaping and How Coalitions Can Fight Back

Using Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), commonly referred to as vaping, is an emerging trend among youth across the country, and community coalitions are working hard to address it. National data suggests that youth past 30-day use of nicotine delivered via vaping devices roughly doubled from 2017 to 2018. This session provided an overview of the strategies in which DFC grant recipients are engaging around vaping prevention, including collecting data on attitudes and use, engaging youth, and building capacity within the community to shed light on this new trend. During this session there an opportunity for participants to share ideas on how to address vaping in their local communities and to discuss emerging findings on the impacts of vaping on youth.

Yearly reports published each February by Drug Free Communities across the nation had an increase of 28% when mentioning youth vape use from 17% of all reports in 2018 to 47% of all reports in 2019. This type of growth is backed by the Monitoring the Future Survey.

Key Strategies to Adress Youth Vape Use



  • Provide Information: providing information to youth, parents/guardians and adults who engage students at the school level will increase awareness of the dangers and risks associated with use.
  • Enhancing Skills: providing youth with the skills to avoid use is an important step but also providing adults with the ability to inform and educate youth with facts is essential.
  • Changing Policies/Consequences: changing disciplinary actions to match the changing landscape of vape use is key. Adding education components will provide students with the opportunity to be educated and informed regarding the decisions they make.

If you would like more information about ways you can address youth vape use please use the contact us form on the bottom of our homepage

CADCA Breakout Session: Over-the-Counter Medications

Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medicine Safety, Engaging Youth About Responsible Medicine Use

Through an information session we learned of an over-the-counter medication safety curriculum sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and Scholastic. The information shared here is essential when we work with community leaders, parents and guardians, in regards to the storage and securing of OTC in the home.

This curriculum can be delivered in small groups in as little as 45 minutes but can be expanded to include more information for a three hour session. There are promotional items, literature and engaging small group sessions designed to inform and educate about issues related to unsecured OTC.

Over-The-Counter (OTC) medicines, when taken as directed are generally safe, but when taken incorrectly can cause significant harm. Research suggests that children begin to self-administer medication at age 11. Over 20,000 kids per year need medical attention due to medicine misuse.



CADCA Breakout Session: Vaping Prevention

#GearUp: Collaborating Around Vape Prevention Efforts Through Media and Policy

Through speaking with community members, school age youth, health providers and service agencies in Stokes we understand that vaping/e-cigarette use by youth is an issue. By attending this session we learned how to inform youth and parents/guardians about the dangers associated with nicotine use by vape devices. We were informed about best practices regarding sharing information to youth to help encourage them to make safer/healthier decisions.

Representatives from Muskegon Drug Free Community shared their success and challenges during their efforts to address vape use by youth in their area. Through their session we were able to gain knowledge on these best practices:

1) Know how to successfully implement coalition activities through social media practices, such as partnership development with local media sectors, and ways to leverage social media platforms.

2) Engage youth in creating messaging, leveraging partnerships and rallying around prevention efforts that result in community change.

3) Collaborate with key stakeholders to develop a universal anti-vape school policy that strives for an alternative to suspension.

For information on how you can talk to your youth about vaping or other issues use the contact us form at the bottom of our main page, through our Facebook page or TalkSooner.org.