A common component in more than 120 over-the-counter cough and cold remedies will be off-limits for purchase by most teens in New Jersey, through a newly-enacted law aiming to curb adolescent drug abuse.

Governor Christie today enacted shore Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini's (R-11) measure prohibiting sale of products containing dextromethorphan (DXM) to those under age 18. She co-sponsored the bill with Westfield Republican Nancy Munoz (R-21).

The law requires the addition of a link on the state Department of Health web page, leading to a list of products containing DXM as an active ingredient.

The lawmakers note that DXM is present in formulas such as Nyquil, Robitussin, Coricidin, Theraflu, Vick's Formula 44, Zicam and Delsym. Consumption in high volume can trigger hallucinations, loss of motor control, seizures, liver and cardiovascular damage, and death.

"DXM is affordable, easy accessible and legal," Angelini said in a prepared statement. "Unfortunately, that's a combination which makes it appealing to teenagers who are taking increased doses to get high."

The goal of the law is to place DXM in a limited-access category now inhabited by alcohol, tobacco and pseudoephedrine, Angelini said, ", but parents also need to be aware of this very serious health issue."

Munoz echoled the need for parental involvement. "If they aren't already doing so, parents should pay attention to what's in their medicine cabinets and who is using what drugs," she said.