More Chesterfield Teens Using Cough Syrup to Get High - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

More Chesterfield Teens Using Cough Syrup to Get High

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Cough syrup has become the drug of choice for teens in Chesterfield and it's sold right over the counter. Cough syrup has become the drug of choice for teens in Chesterfield and it's sold right over the counter.
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) - Cough syrup has become the drug of choice for teens in Chesterfield and it's sold right over the counter.

Ryan, a senior at James River High School, had heard about kids using cough syrup to get high, but didn't try it until last fall. He drank a whole bottle in about a half an hour not realizing how strong the effects would be.

"I could have totally lost my life, I could have O.D.'d," he says. "You're unable to stand. Motor function capabilities goneā€¦ you're pretty much dead in the brain."

The next day he says is worse than a hangover.

"You are brain dead, in every sense of it," he says. "You wake up and you are just very, very numb."

He says he and his friends would even mix the cough syrup with prescription meds or alcohol. There were times he says where he wondered if he would survive.

"You can really start to wonder do I need to take myself or do I need somebody to bring me to the emergency room."

It's been a huge problem in Chesterfield according to survey numbers last year from Chesterfield SAFE. The amount of teens abusing cough syrup was three times the national average.

Regina Whitsett with Chesterfield SAFE says after the numbers came out they sent five teens to different stores to see who would be able to buy cough syrup. She said many stores would not sell to anyone under 18 but other stores would actually sell the cough syrup to the young people without any questions asked.

Since then, SAFE has met with those stores to try and get their policies changed and started prevention efforts, hoping numbers out this summer show less kids abusing cough syrup.

Meanwhile Whitsett has a message for parents and teens:

"Parents, be aware of what's in their house, what their kids are doing and where their medications are. [Teens], it's not the best way to get intoxicated and it's not going to get rid of your problems.

If you have more questions about this topic and how you can look for signs your kids may be abusing cough syrup, visit chesterfieldsafe.org.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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Chesterfield Teens Using Cough Syrup to Get High
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