A dangerous drug

I’m coming off an addiction to a not well known drug that is abused mostly by teenagers but is also abused - though less commonly - by people of other age groups as well. I myself am 34. The drug is known as DXM. Its the other kind of cough syrup, the kind people who are seeking narcotics are bummed to get. I’m here to tell you its alot stronger than codeine, and potentially more dangerous. I’ve abused many things since my early 20s. Including alcohol, opiates, sedatives, cannabis, stimulants (even meth) but nothing else ever got me as high or euphoric as this stuff. Also nothing else has ever sent me to the er or made me psychotic as many times. Yes, the worst drug i’ve ever abused is - ready - robitussin, which you can get easier access to than beer. DXM - or more properly dextromethorphan hydrobromide - is in a class of drugs known as dissociative anaesthetics. The other two drugs in its class are PCP and Ketamine. High doses of this medicine, 180 mg or more, Can cause moderate to intense dissociation, audio-visual hallucinations, euphoria - which can be intense, and dream-like experiences while awake which is what lures people in. However, this drug - especially if redosed - can cause fevers, sweats, tremors, rigid muscles, psychotic states, delirium, severe panic attacks, gastrointestinal disturbances, hyperventilating, and pounding heart. In really high doses you can add seizures, coma, and death to that list. Long term use can cause kidney, liver, and brain damage. It can also lead to strokes or heart attacks . Something needs to be done about something so dangerous yet you can purchase it at your local Dollar Tree. Many people go to the hospital or even die from this substance and it’ll probably get worse.

It’s not a kind of cough syrup-Dextromrthorphan is an ingredient in some cough syrups and other medicines.

Sorry, I meant to say cough suppresant. Please, let’s not continue this nonsense into this post. The point of this post is to save lives, which is FAR, FAR more important than silly arguments about grammar and such! I hope you have a heart enough to agree.

DXM is certainly abusable. I’ve abused it myself, many decades ago. I have had a bit more than a handful of patients who did so also. But I have to say that far, far more people are suffering significant morbidity and also death from alcohol and from (more traditional) opioids. Not to mention cocaine, methamphetamines, and benzodiazepines. In my medical practice over the last 3 decades I’ve had to deal with far more folks with acute complications from those drugs.

Even so, DXM consumption, or “robo-ing” as the practice of consuming it so charmingly used to be called, definitely does lead to some unpleasant side effects and occasional bad outcomes. It will impair a person acutely, though the basic treatment for an overdose remains giving supportive care while the body processes the drug.

Though I must admit, my attempts to inform people about its dangers in the past had generally ended up only introducing folks to an abusable drug with which they previously were not familiar. I can recall 3 medical colleagues who had some years of recovery from chemical dependency who went and tried the damn stuff after I warned them about DXM’s abuse potential.

To discourage abuse, most cough suppressant manufacturers combine DXM with decongestants or expectorants, which generally results in giving untoward and unpleasant side effects to those trying to chug enough cough syrup to get a DXM rush. Though there are a few brands of cough syrup that contain only DXM, it’s generally in a long-acting form that gives less dysphoria.

To summarize: definitely abusable, and there are certain addicts who seem to prefer it over more traditional drugs, or at least prefer its easy availability. But at present it’s causing only a small fraction of the morbidity and mortality seen with alcohol, opioids, and more traditional stimulants.

Don’t they keep this stuff behind the counter these days? Meaning, you can still get it with out a 'script, but you have to ask the pharmacist for it and you also have to show your ID.

It depends on where you live, here in California they ID people, but they still sell it where it can be easily purchased or even shoplifted. Not only that, not every establishment IDs.

Not at walmart

I don’t think DXM is nearly as bad as some other drugs out there like meth or heroin. DXM in low doses is actually kind of nice. I didn’t think DXM alone was really harmful, it is more the inexperienced users who buy the wrong kind that get sick. People who buy cough syrup that has acetaminophen or pseudoephedrine in it, then drink the entire bottle.

I agree, other drugs are more of a problem, but I wonder if that may change if more people were to start abusing it. Which I predict may happen some day. So far most people prefer the other more commonly abused substances.

The drug of choice varies based on what is available. PCP was gone for a long time, and then made a comeback.

High doses of DXM are unpleasant because you lose contact with reality. But I do not think that doing a low dose once in a while will really hurt you. It is the people who go 3rd or 4th plateaus constantly and/or who buy the wrong kind and get the cough syrup that also has more dangerous ingredients (pseudoephedrine or acetaminophen) in it that end up very sick.

Exactly. Also, beware of the pure powder they sell on the internet. That stuff is often passed off as other stuff in raves and a single capsule can contain up to 600 mg I believe it is. 2000 mg is the fatal dose.

I don’t recommend anyone do this because even this isn’t 100% safe, not to mention the withdrawals are terrible, but Gabapentin I find to be like a milder dxm with amphetamine and alcohol like qualities as well and can be surprisingly quite euphoric even at a low doses. I’m on that right now, but I’m only human, I suppose I need to give that up too lol. Oops, I know how to spell Safer, added extra r accidently lol. Please don’t put me on blast again, lol.

To quote a South Park character: MMM, Drugs are bad. Lol.

I’ll tell you about my first experience with DXM and that night was NOT GOOD AT ALL!!! This was in late November 2011. November 28th to be exact. Right after my Aunt Carole died from opiate induced bowel obstruction. It was around 6 pm and I couldn’t get my usual drugs of choice of those days: Weed, Alcohol, or pain pills. So I STUPIDLY downed 1/3 of a quart of Promethazine DM. I’ve never been good with math and I didn’t have a clue about Promethazine so I figured it equated to about 300 mg of dm. I was blissfully unaware of the terror I’d be facing 2 hours later but it hit me like a freight train! The first side effects were extreme dissociation and an otherworldly dream-like state with audio-visual hallucinations. I went out to smoke and I entered into a deep psychotic state with delirium and intense panic. I kept having intense visions that appeared out of my mind and projected onto the background as if my mind were a movie projector. Most of these were demonic and torturous. I kept hearing voices say stuff like “You’re gonna die tonight. You’re gonna die and burn in hell!” Also its hard to explain, but I kept feeling rolling unclean mental waves of disintegration, that’s the best way to put it. This was immediately followed by feelings like my head was in a vice grip and weighed 1000 pounds and like I’d colllapse. I went to sleep it off if I could but my heart was pounding like 200 bpm, so hard I could hear it about as loud as a small bedside clock. I was having chest pain and felt very weak, like I was fading and withering away and about to die. I also felt very hot! I yelled out “Dad, I’m dying!” I ended up at the er that night and I was having intense hellfire visions and my back felt like I had the worst case of sunburn ever recorded. I was discharged the following morning around 6 am so they kept me about 10 hours. I felt VERY LUCKY to still be here and suffered a 2 week psychotic break from that overdose. This is what inspired me to post this post.

Back in the day (early 2000s) we used to get 3-4 Coricidan ODs every weekend. Totally could not understand this. These people (kids, mostly teen girls) were NOT having any fun. They were doing it because “someone said it was cool”.

And after that glowing first experience, you said “I gotta get me some more of that!” and became an addict?

Will you ever bother to address what issue drives you to relentlessly abuse drugs? Or, just keep switching weapons of choice in your self destruction?

Just curious, you seem not an unintelligent fellow, which is what makes me wonder enough to ask!

That’s what it’s like to be an addict.

Much better advice would be to go see a professional about your problem.

(emphasis mine)He’s already established his intelligence level:

I have no trouble understanding why someone might become addicted to a substance to which they had a positive, or even a neutral, introduction. It’s tougher to understand the impulse to repeat a first experience like the one the OP describes.

“Chasing the dragon,” but an actual dragon that burned your face off with its fire-breath the first time you met.