Beliefs about Cough Medicine Abuse among Chinese Young People in Hong Kong

By Shek, Daniel T. L.; Lam, Ching Man | Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, January 1, 2008 | Go to article overview

Beliefs about Cough Medicine Abuse among Chinese Young People in Hong Kong


Shek, Daniel T. L., Lam, Ching Man, Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal


Beliefs about cough medicine abuse among Chinese young people were examined using the Beliefs about Cough Medicine Abuse Scale (BACMAS; developed by Shek). A total of 225 Chinese young people, including 160 cough medicine abusers and 65 noncough-medicine abusers, participated in this study. Results showed that the scale was internally consistent, and was able to differentiate between those who did and did not abuse cough medicine. Higher BACMAS scores were related to higher levels of endorsement of cough medicine abuse and severity of consumption, thus providing support for the concurrent and construct validities of the scale. The respondents abusing cough medicine generally did not perceive the benefits of abusing cough medicine and they recognized the harmful effects of such abuse. However, 40.7% of them believed that cough medicine was not addictive and 57% believed that there was no harm in associating with friends who abused cough medicine. Results suggest that it is important to understand the beliefs of cough medicine abusers regarding cough medicine abuse.

Keywords: cough medicine, cough mixture, Chinese, young people, addiction, drug abuse, substance abuse.

The abuse of psychotropic substances is a growing problem in the global context (Shek, 2006). It is interesting that, although much attention has been given to the use of illicit psychotropic substances such as cannabis and amphetamine type stimulants (ATS) in recent years, comparatively less attention has been directed to the abuse of legal drugs, such as cough medicine, that can be bought over the counter (OTC drugs) or prescribed by medical practitioners (Lam & Shek, 2006). Cough medicine sold over the counter commonly contains psychotropic substances such as codeine or dextromethorphan.

Research results have pointed to the possible abuse of cough medicine in Western countries (e.g., Elwood, 2001; Jensen & Hansen, 1993; Jinks & Raschko, 1990). In the clinical literature, researchers have documented cases of cough medicine abuse (Miller, 2005; Price & Lebel, 2000). Regarding the abuse of cough medicine in the West, Darboe (1996) proposed a theoretical model in which four factors were identified: availability, approval, ignorance and fear. Based on a survey of school personnel, Darboe, Keenan, and Richards (1996) asserted "abuse of cough syrup (Robitussin or other brands) has increased over the years and is increasingly perceived as a problem by the community" (p. 633). Based on qualitative interviews of 48 cough medicine abusers, Peters et al. (2003) concluded that the influence of peers and hip hop music reinforced the use of cough medicine.

The literature also suggests that cough medicine abuse exists in Asian countries, such as Japan (Ishigooka, Yoshida, & Murasaki, 1991; Suzuki, Masukawa, & Misawa, 1990) and India (Borde & Nizamie, 1988; Mattoo, Basu, Sharma, Balaji, & Malhotra, 1997; Wairagkar, Das, & Kumar, 1994). With specific reference to Hong Kong, there are several sources of information suggesting that cough medicine abuse is a growing substance abuse problem. First, an examination of the data in the Central Registry of Drug Abuse shows that there has been a rising trend of cough medicine abuse (Narcotics Division, 2005). second, based on the regular school surveys conducted by the Narcotics Division (e.g., Fung & Chan, 2005; Lau, 2002), the proportion of students who indicated that they had abused cough medicine showed a rising trend in international schools. Third, based on the studies conducted or sponsored by the Narcotics Division of the Hong Kong SAR Government and research undertaken by academics, there are signs showing that cough medicine abuse is a growing problem (e.g., Shek & Lam, 2006). In a recent study, Wong, Dickinson, and Chan (2005) commented that "inappropriate and over-prescribing of cough mixtures" (p. 381) was prevalent in the health care system in Hong Kong. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Beliefs about Cough Medicine Abuse among Chinese Young People in Hong Kong
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.