Walk into any grocery store or gas station and you'll find plenty of it. Dextromethorphan, or DXM, is a key ingredient in 120 different cold medicines. Marvel Welch said "They have it over the counter, kids can just walk up, either Buy it, or take it." And on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, they want that changed. "For the safety. For the safety of my children," said Welch. Because children all over the reservation are using the over-the-counter drug to get high. Dr. Michael Todet said "Dextromethorphan can cause the heart rate to rise, it can cause hallucinations, and when used at high doses, it can even lead to death. It's a tragedy tribal leaders are hoping to avoid, with a strict new ordinance. The law would make it illegal to sell medicines containing DXM to minors and require stores to put those medicines behind the counter. Chief Ben Reed of the Cherokee Police Department said "It'll just give us a leg up, so we can start looking for it for enforcement. Number one as a deterrent, and number two being able to address it when we see it." If approved, the law will be among the first of its kind in the United States – a statistic Tribal Chief Michele Hicks couldn't be more proud of. "This just goes to show as we grow and as things arise, that we're on top of it, and we're addressing it - out front rather than behind," said Hicks. Now he just hopes the rest of the country follows suit before another child gets hurt or dies. Hicks said, "Because its not just a Cherokee issue. This is a national issue. Several states are considering similar legislation but they're meeting strong resistance from drug manufacturers. The same thing happened two years ago, when the government decided to put pseudo-ephedrines behind the counter. The tribal council will vote on the proposed ordinance next month.
Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.