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"Parents need to watch for signs of abuse and spread the word that it's happening," says Virginia Cox, senior vice president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (see their awareness campaign at fivemoms.com). The signs are like that of any type of drug abuse: changes in friends, sleeping habits or eating patterns; household money disappearing; and unusual smells in your child's room.
Pay attention to what's in your medicine cabinet so you'll notice when something's missing, and look out for empty cough medicine boxes lying around or in trash cans, says Cox. An increase in Internet time can also be a red flag because that's how many teens learn about getting high on cough medicine. Slang terms kids use to talk about it: robo-tripping, robo-fizzing, dex-ing, skittling.
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