New Law Now Prohibits Minor from Buying Over-the-Counter Cough Syrup

Jan 05, 2017 09:00 AM EST

A new law will now prohibit people under 18 from buying some over-the-counter cough syrups that contain a certain ingredient often abused by minors.

The new law, or Senate Bill 938, is a measure to regulate the sale of the substance dextromethorphan (DXM). DXM is a synthetically produced drug that is commonly used in over-the-counter cough suppressants in the United States.

Under the new law, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, employees and representatives are prohibited from knowingly or willfully selling medications containing DXM to an individual below the age of 18 without a valid prescription. Additionally, the new law will require anyone who appears to be under the age of 25 to present identification or any proof of age before being able to buy the product.

Incoming state Senator and former state Representative Doug Broxson sponsored the new bill after hearing about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's issues with DMX. As opposed to its proper use, DMX is often misused by minors who are hoping to get high. These young people either drink cough syrup or mix it with other substances.

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"What we were concentrated on were some of the deaths and the byproducts, what some of the kids were doing in reconditioning this in a hypnagogic form," said Broxson, in a report from WTSP. "We were just trying to respond to a growing concern where our youths were misusing this product, and these kids are pretty creative on doing these things."

Manufacturers, distributors or retailers who were caught in violation of the act may be subject to a civil citation and a fine up to $100 per violation. On the other hand, an employee or representative who was caught selling a product with any amount of DMX will be subjected to a written warning. Manufacturers, distributors or retailers could avoid receiving a citation by showing a "good faith effort" to comply with the bill's requirement.

Furthermore, an individual in possession or received a product with any amount of DMX and with an intent to distribute will also be subjected to civil citation and of up to $100 for each violation.

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