Archive for June, 2007

One in 10 teens are swigging over-the-counter cough syrup to get high

Since the 1950s, dextromethorphan has been the primary cough suppressant ingredient in over-the-counter cold and cough medicines. When taken according to directions, dextromethorphan produces few adverse side effects and has a long history of safety. But recently, an alarming number of teens are abusing this medicine and causing serious damage to their bodies. It is often readily available in the home medicine cabinet, and they think because it’s found in over-the-counter medicines that it must be harmless. Taken in recreational doses, far exceeding recommended doses, dextromethoraphan can cause serious, irreversible organ damage, even death. Unfortunately many parents have no idea this is happening. 

via The Partnership for a Drug-Free America

Smoking health hazards may pass on to descendants

Some men say they’ll quit smoking after their child is born, a new study indicates a good reason to quit well in advance of trying to conceive. The findings of this recent study suggest that the consequences of smoking extend beyond the smoker to their nonsmoking descendents. While it has long been known that smoking causes DNA damage, this study is the first evidence that tobacco actually causes inheritable male mutations in the sperm. If inherited, these mutations persist as irreversible changes in the genetic composition of offspring.

via Cancer Research, June 2007

Short-term, low-dose Ecstasy use linked to memory decline

In a recent study, new users who took the street drug Ecstasy for a mean of 1.6 months at low cumulative doses showed a decline in verbal recall and recognition. This study adds to the growing evidence that Ecstasy is neurotoxic to humans.

via Archives of General Psychiatry