Jacobs Approves Legislation Limiting Sale Cough Suppressant Chemical Often Abused by Teens

Nassau County Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) joined fellow lawmakers in approving a local law banning the sale of products containing dextromethorphan (DXM) to minors. DXM is a commonly used ingredient in many cold remedies, but can cause hallucinations and other side effects if abused. This legislation was proposed by Legislators Wayne Wink (D-Roslyn) and Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick).

“This legislation will protect our children from a new and dangerous form of substance abuse,” Jacobs said. “DXM abuse has become a very real health concern among kids and teens, and it’s time for steps to be taken to ensure their safety. It is important that parents understand the dangers that DXM abuse poses and take steps to ensure this medication is used for its intended purpose.”

According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, there are more than 100 non-prescription medicines that contain DXM as an active ingredient. It appeals to teenagers because it is inexpensive and easy to get.A Coricidin package of 24 tablets cost $6.99 at Walgreens. Slang terms for DXM include Dex, Robo, Skittles, Syrup, Triple-C, and Tussin.

In other business, legislators approved several supplemental appropriations, including:

  • $204,577 in funds from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs for Police officers overtime, the enhancement of a police and domestic violence coalition partnership, support of a mobile outreach van for the summer teen program, overtime for a corrections officer assigned to the FBI Gang Task Force, overtime to support gang suppression efforts as well as to improve community relations with police.
  • $1,428,411 in funds to be received from the New York State Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services to provide chemical dependency services in a variety of patient settings to residents of Nassau County.
  • $201,410 in funds to be received from the Health Research, Inc. to encourage HIV testing, pre and post-test counseling and to work with clients around issues of referral and partner notification.

Legislators passed through committee items that would combine the sewage systems of the City of Glen Cove and the Villages of Lawrence and Cedarhurst with Nassau County in an effort to reduce costs. These resolutions will go before the full legislature for a vote December 17.

Also passing through committee was an ordinance to increase the salary levels of the County Executive, District Attorney, County Assessor, County Comptroller and County Clerk to the levels recommended by the Blue Ribbon Panel for Elected Officials' Salaries for Nassau County. This ordinance will go before the full legislature for a vote December 17.

The next full legislative session is Monday, December 17, 2007.