N.J. moves to limit sales of OTC cough medications

The New Jersey Legislature may restrict the sales of some cough and cold medicines.

The Assembly’s Law and Public Safety Committee has advanced a measure to ban the sale of products containing dextromethorphan, aka as DM, to anyone under the age of 18.

Kids abuse medicines containing DM to get high, said Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, the prime sponsor of the legislation.

“There’s about 125 over the counter drugs out there that contain this and what they do is they drink the whole bottle. It’s only supposed to be a teaspoon. They get high from it,” he said. “Because these products often contain things like acetaminophen, they end up with liver disorders.”

He said the bill was motivated by constituents.

“I’ve had moms come to my district office and tell me stories in tears about their daughter, their son, who they found was drinking whole bottles of over the counter drugs that contain this dextromethorphan and getting high and doing real damage to themselves,” he said.

If the measure is approved by the full legislature, retailers that violate it could face fines up to a thousand dollars.

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