Dextromethorphan (DXM) is a cough suppressant and opioid derivative used in more than 100 over-the-counter medicines. Although safe for ingestion when taken as directed, illicit and excessive use of DXM leading to DXM addiction is on the rise.
DXM is manufactured by dealers in laboratories all over the world for recreational use and sold on the streets. Teens are at greatest risk for DXM addiction and abuse because, like alcohol and prescription drugs, DXM is so widely available.
The DXM “trip” or intoxication can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours. Users report wide ranging effects, including mild “buzz,” “out of body” feeling, paranoia, hallucinations, and aggression. Doing strenuous activities like running after taking high doses of DXM can cause dangerous overheating. Taking DXM along with other drugs increases the risks.
Parents, teachers, coaches, and other adults in positions of authority can prevent teen DXM abuse. Here are some common warning signs:
- Finding empty boxes and plastic blister packs of cough and cold medicine in the house, cars, etc.
- Cough and cold medicines going missing.
- Overhearing terms such as “robo-tripping,” “triple-C,” “dexing,” or “skittles.”
- Receiving unexpected deliveries from online purchases.
DXM abuse is far more likely to bring harm to the user than other drugs due to the long-lasting trip and the dangerous interactions with other common, over-the-counter drugs. High doses of DXM taken together with high doses of acetaminophen (a pain reliever), pseudoephedrine (a decongestant), and antihistamines (medication for allergies) can cause serious health problems, such as:
- high blood pressure
- liver damage
- central nervous system and heart problems
People who abuse DXM are likely to develop a dependence on the drug, leading to compulsive consumption of DXM products. Our medical professionals can monitor the detox process and ease the withdrawal symptoms of people addicted to DXM.
To learn more about treatment for DXM addiction at New Horizon Hospital in Houston, Texas, call us at (281) 397-1530.