New Law Bans Sale of Most Cough Medicines To Minors

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill banning the sale of nearly all cough medicines to minors.

This includes over-the-counter cough medicines, anything containing dextromethorphan will be banned from selling to minors starting in July.

The decision comes with hopes of stemming abuse by kids.

“It seems like the wrong answer to a very real problem,” says Dr. Andrew Lundahl, pharmacist at Mission Pharmacy in Mt. Pleasant, “If you look under 25 we have to ID you unless you have a prescription.”

Gov. Whitmer signed the bill last week in hopes of stemming abuse by children who can use high amounts to get high or “robo-trip.”

“It works in the central nervous system to suppress your cough reflex,” says Linduhl, “In doing that, it can cause some hallucinative properties.”

This really becomes an issue when you start looking at the labels closely. It seems like dextromethorphan is an every single medicine. Robitussin, Mucinex DayQuil and NyQuil, if you want to effectively stop a cough, you’re going to want this chemical.

“It is the best in the game” says Linduhl, “Kind of the only thing in the game.”

To avoid it, you’d have to go herbal, which many pharmacists may recommend if you want to avoid the hassle.

“I personally will probably start pushing chamomile tea and honey,” says Linduhl, “That kind of thing.”

Similar restrictions are done on other medicines used to make meth but nothing as traditionally available as cough medicine.

“I wonder if there’s just another way to solve something like this,” says Linduhl, “You know parenting or a daily limit like Sudafed.”