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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

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For Immediate Release: March 7, 2007

Senator Charlie Laster
Senator Charlie Laster

Senate Approves Bill Banning Sale of Cough Medicine/Spray Paint to Minors

The full Senate has approved a bill that would ban the sale of cough medicine containing dextromethorphan (DXM) as well as spray paint to anyone under the age of 18. State Sen. Charlie Laster is author of Senate Bill 951.

“If a person consumes a high quantity of simple cough medicine, it can be a powerful hallucinogen. Nationwide, we’re seeing increasing numbers of kids winding up in emergency rooms because of it,” Laster said. “It’s a growing problem here as well. The Oklahoma Poison Control Center reports that DXM abuse is on the rise, and we know that more kids are experimenting with inhalants as well. Some kids may think it’s a game, but they could be gambling with their very lives.”

In 2006, 14.7 percent of all reported intentional substance abuse cases in Oklahoma involved DXM, compared to 11.6 percent in 2005. Inhalant use, such as spray paint, is also up among Oklahoma youth. In 2003, 9.9 percent of youths grades 9-12 reported using inhalants, compared to 12 percent in 2005.

“SB 951 would make it a misdemeanor to sell those products to any one under 18,” Laster said. “Some businesses already have such a ban in place. This bill will ensure that all businesses prohibit the sale of these things to minors.”

In addition, the legislation makes it illegal for anyone to sell or provide unfinished DXM to anyone other than a purchaser licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The legislation would also require those possessing or selling unfinished DXM, which is used in manufacturing, to register with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

SB 951 now moves to the House for consideration.

For more information contact:
Senator Laster's Office - (405) 521-5539

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