Cough Medicine Addiction Common in Teens, Military
Cough medicine, found in drug stores or supermarkets, is helpful in the upcoming flu season. However, what many people don’t realize is that many cough medicines contain DXM.
Dextromethorphan, or “DXM” is an ingredient found in many over-the-counter cold medicines. However, DXM can produce a high similar to LSD. When taken in excess, it produces hallucinations, “out of body states”, dizziness, and vivid dreams. It is found in over 140 over-the-counter medications, Coricidin being the most popular. Any product that says “DM” or “Tuss” on the label may contain DXM.
One lady was very worried. “I am 36 years old, have a nice family, great children,” she stated. “I started taking Coricidin for a cold, and haven’t stopped. I am worried because I get actual cravings for it. I shake when I pass the medicine aisle in the grocery store. I can stop myself from taking it for a while, then I just give in.”
The Atlanta Recovery Center Drug Rehab in Georgia receives many calls from people seeking help for substance abuse. But the number of calls received after a warning issued by Atlanta Recovery Center Drug Rehab on over-the-counter cold medicine was shocking.
“I was in charge of training 1,000 recruits,” stated another caller. “I was in the military and the amount of Coricidin abuse I saw was appalling. Trash cans are filled with empty Coricidin packets. The pharmacies in our area are always out of Coricidin and other cold relief products. The problem is that it is not an illegal drug, and won’t show up on any drug tests. The recruits ‘robotrip’ on Coricidin and don’t get caught.”
He went on to state that DXM is highly addictive and his wife, who was also in the military, had to go to drug rehab for her DXM addiction. “I want to help raise awareness of the damage DXM can cause,” he stated. “It is a very dangerous drug, and not enough attention or education is being given to its abuse, especially in the military.”
An overdose of DXM produces a drug high. It can also produce a variety of health problems:
-rapid heart beat
-high blood pressure
Emergency room personnel are very familiar with DXM overdoses, as waves of young people who are overdosing on it are admitted to local hospitals. “We see this all the time,” stated one ERT member responding to a call after finding out that the addict had overdosed on cough medicine. Estimates are that over two million teens in the United States have abused DXM products to get high. Often, these teens are finding information about DXM on the internet.
For more information on drug addiction rehabilitation or drug education, call The Atlanta Recovery Center of Georgia at 1-877-236-3981.