New Oregon Law Prohibits Sale of OTC Cough Medicine to Minors

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 11, 2018) — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) applauds Oregon for recently enacting a law prohibiting the sale of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan (DXM) to minors.

While millions of Americans use products containing DXM to safely treat their symptoms, according to the 2017 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) annual Monitoring the Future survey, one in 30 teens abuses OTC cough medicine containing DXM to get high.

 “CHPA congratulates Oregon for becoming the 14th state to enact this common-sense law, restricting access to teens who may abuse these products, while maintaining access for the millions of Americans who use them responsibly,” said CHPA President and CEO Scott Melville. “Over the years we’ve learned that a combination of public policy and public education is effective at combating teen abuse of OTC cough medicine. Committed state lawmakers have been crucial allies in our abuse prevention efforts.”

CHPA has long supported national educational efforts to curb teen OTC cough medicine abuse through its education campaign, which includes collaborations with The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), and National Association of School Nurses (NASN). 
Recognizing that retailers play a critical role in abuse prevention, CHPA recently announced a new initiative to support retailers in states that have adopted laws prohibiting the sale OTC cough medicine containing DXM to minors. Retailers can download or order free materials on

For more information about teen DXM abuse and other helpful resources for parents and community leaders, please visit

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 137-year-old national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system $6-$7, contributing a total of $102 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products.

Contact: Lauren Bloomberg (