Hazard lawmaker proposes restrictions on cough syrup

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Restrictions on over the counter medication have been a hot topic in Frankfort for the past few years. While the focus has mainly been on pseudoephedrine, one representative says a new danger looms in cough syrup.

Representative Fitz Steele is on a mission.

"If it'll save one life, it's worth it," he said.

He calls his push the "Robotripping Bill". Robotripping is what he says teens call the act of guzzling down cough syrup and getting high on its main ingredient, dextromethorphan. The bill would limit the sale of medicine containing dextromethorphan as the lone active ingredient to adults only.

"These children are buying this cough syrup and they're out there getting wild on it. Worst case scenario, they're dying," said Rep. Steele.

This would follow other bills passed in recent years targeting pill mills and products containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in making meth. Pharmacists say the restrictions have been both good and bad.

"Potential for drug abuse has been cut back. At the same time, an 85-year-old woman could not get her pain medicine. She had to go in to be seen and fill out a form. You know, this lady wasn't always able to just jump out and hop in the car like you or me," said pharmacy owner Clarence Sullivan.

Representative Steele hopes to pass his bill at the next legislative session in January.

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