ALBANY, N.Y., Oct. 3 (UPI) -- New York prohibits pharmacies and stores from selling Dextromethorphan, found in over-the-counter cold medications, to minors unless they have a prescription.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the state legislation prohibits selling products with DXM to any person age 18 and younger unless they have a prescription.
The new law addresses the growing problem of teens using DXM to get high and the accompanying dangers, Cuomo said. Increased use of DXM can lead to serious short and long term health risks including agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, and death.
Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressing ingredient found in over-the-counter cough and cold medications such as Robitussin and Nyquil.
"This legislation will combat the growing trend of DXM abuse by preventing young people from easily purchasing products that contain DXM," Cuomo said in a statement. "The overuse of this drug can lead to terrible consequences, so by limiting access to this substance, this new law will prevent tragedies and protect the health of our children."
Under the law, all retail establishments selling DXM will be required to request proof of age unless the customer appears to be more than 25 years of age.
Any retailer violating the new prohibition will be subject to a fine of $250 for each violation. A number of counties in the state including Nassau and Suffolk have already enacted a restriction on the retail sale of DXM to individuals age 18 years and younger, Cuomo said.