A kid chugged a 4 oz. bottle of Robitussin in front of me last night

It was Wal-Tussin, actually, Walgreens brand. I’m still fairly freaked out by this. I’ve had a lot of creepy stuff happen at work, but this takes the cake so far.

So I’m standing there, ringing people up, a fairly normal Saturday night at Walgreens, and this skinny white kid walks in and, talking too fast, wants to know where the Robitussin is. I point him in the right direction, thinking, “Oh, my. Just wait and see if I do not card you, my son.” Because in the state of Illinois, you have to be 18 to buy products containing dextromethorphan, and it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve dashed somebody’s hopes by demanding his ID to purchase cough syrup.

So he eventually comes back to the register with a 4 oz. bottle of Wal-Tussin, still talking too fast, babbling actually, and he’s got some Visine, and then he wants cigarettes, too.

So I say, “May I see a driver’s license, please?” and he babbles, “Oh, yeah, it’s out in the car”, and he starts out the door, and he adds confidently, over his shoulder, “But, you know, I’m 25,” and I’m, like, “Well, we’ll see about that, won’t we?”

And I really didn’t think he’d come back, because they usually don’t, yanno? When they say, “Oh, yeah, it’s out in the car, but I’m 25…”

But he did come back in. So you better believe I checked that puppy thoroughly.

Especially since it was a Missouri DL. Uh huh.

Well, as far as I could tell, it was the real deal. If it was a fake, it was a damn good fake, holograms and all.

And it said he was 25.

So I sold him the Wal-Tussin, and the cigarettes. And I had just handed him his change, and was turning my attention to the next customers in line, when I realized that he was opening something, still standing there just to the side of my checkout counter. People do that sometimes; they stand there and rip it open, whatever it is.

And he said fervently, “I really need this,” and I thought, “Wow, I’ve never heard of anybody really needing Visine before,” because of course I assumed that’s what he was opening, since he wasn’t coughing.

And then I turned my attention back to him–and I realized he was drinking something, head thrown back. And I thought, “Wow, I’ve never heard of anyone drinking Visine before,” and I wondered briefly if he was stupid enough to believe his buddy who told him you could get high on Visine.

And then he handed it to be, along with its packaging, saying, “Here, I’ll let you have that,” and I realized it was the Wal-Tussin.

I held it, and said blankly, “…did you just drink that? The whole thing!?”

He said, with a smile, fervently, “I really needed that.”

Our eyes locked.
I said to him, firmly, “I am your mother. And I disapprove.”
He said lightly, “Well, I guess I’ll stop doing it, then.” And he left.

Blew me away.
Blew away the next customers in line, too. Three bling-encrusted, gold-chain-wearing inner city youths, buying snacks. They too watched, slack-jawed with amazement.

First guy said to me, “What he just drink?”

I showed them the empty Wal-Tussin. “He chugged that, just now.”
They were impressed. “Day-um…”

Not that the dude had ingested DMX, but that he hadn’t waited until he got, like, out in the car or somethin, I mean, day-um

I remarked, to nobody in particular, “That was four ounces; I dunno what the normal adult dose is…”
One of them immediately said, “Two teaspoons.”

So I came home and thanked both my children for not being idiotic druggies getting high on cough syrup.

And I looked up a bunch of stuff on Erowid, and I was relieved to see that it probably wasn’t a lethal dose.


I admit I tried Robo a couple of times right after I graduated high school. I used to chug two whole bottles of the stuff. Good lord I don’t know what the hell I was thinking back then. Its like someone gave my brain a battery acid enema. I learned my lesson though and I will NEVER do that stuff again. Not even if I have a cold.

A friend of mine way back in high school was all about Robotripping. (the slang for robotussin abuse). I remember him saying that he had to do something to the stuff in order to be able to drink it, as the makers added some sort of vomit-inducing ingredient in order to prevent people from drinking the quantities to get high. A quick google search says they’ve now taken it out, after the ingredient was banned by the FDA.

Glad the government is keeping the kids safe.

Wait, Dextromethorphan gets you high? I always thought bums and winos chugged cough syrup because of its alcohol content. (Assuming they still use alcohol in modern formulations) Man, you gotta be desperate to chug cough syrup for a buzz. I can’t name a single (adult formula) brand that tastes good enough not to make me wince just taking the recommended dosage. Never mind additives, I’d vomit just from the taste alone if I tried chugging it.

I hope ODing on the stuff makes you sterile, 'cos that kid can’t be allowed to breed.

Yeah. Government is doing its usual great job. “A study in May [2006] by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America estimated that 2.4 million teens — about 1 in 10 — got high on cough medicines in 2005. That puts it on a par with cocaine and slightly above methamphetamine.” — http://www.biopsychiatry.com/misc/robitussin.html

I am very surprised to read this coming from you, Lib. I hope I am being wooshed.

It’s not the government’s job to protect us from our own fully-informed decisions. If someone wants to ruin his life, it’s not the government’s place to stop him. Of course, if his decision is going to harm someone else, the gov’t has every right to step in there. But that isn’t evident in ‘robotripping’.

I once took slightly more than the recommended dosage when I was in college. I felt kind of spacey. Sort of in the good way. I’d never chug an entire bottle, though. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Wow. Freaky, DDG!

The sarcasm should have been blatantly obvious, especially given the statistic that followed the remark. :slight_smile:

There are those among us (few though we may be) who feel it isn’t really the role of government to come up with contigency plans for every dumb thing some idiot kid (or adult) might decide to do to himself. (Or to paraphrase something I think Bill Maher said once—why are laws always planned around what the dumbest person might do?) I’m already mildly annoyed by having to show ID to a pharmacist in order to buy Sudafed, courtesy of my state’s growing underclass of rotten-toothed redneck tweakers.

I do find it somewhat bemusing that the government permits the unregulated OTC sale of dextromethorphan—a powerful, widely-abused hallucinogen that (at least in my experience) is completely useless at preventing coughs—while restricting the sale of cough suppresants that actually do work because they contain minimal amounts of codeine.

I hope he got the Wal-Tussin DM, because usually the generic “Tussin” is plain guaifenesin syrup with no dextromethorphan. (Can you tell I’m starting my autumn cold?) Even plain Robitussin is just guaifenesin. You need to get Robitussin DM if you want to trip.

No-I got the sarcasm. But decoding the sarcasm, I read it as saying “The government is doing poorly at a job it should be doing well.” Which is to say the government should be doing a good job of protecting us from ourselves. Is there another layer of sarcasm I’m not getting?

I read it the same way that you did.

Dude. Meta irony! :eek:

Darned kids. When I was young, we’d walk 12 miles uphill, in snow up to our knees, to the pharmacy for Phenergan C, and we liked it! :wink:

Similar here too. I simply had to work and study for finals and I had either a really bad cold or a low-grade fever (don’t remember which at this point.) But it was one of those times where I wasn’t sleeping well, thinking well, and so on. So I get up in the morning, take three pseudoephedrine tablets and three ibuprofen (big guy so I take slightly higher doses to help compensate for body weight), shower, and then, having forgotten that I already had taken some pills, took another three of each. And that wound up being way too much. It didn’t kick in right away but when I got up from the desk after trying to study for an hour or so to take a break I almost fell over I was so lightheaded but didn’t feel it when sitting and concentrating.

I can’t imagine trying to drink that much stuff. But hey, I’m not about to stop someone from hurting themselves as long as they don’t put others in danger after doing so. So that’s probably my biggest problem with what the guy did.

Hmm… Tell ya what. Let me state my position plainly. No sarcasm. No ambiguity. What government should do is protect the rights and property of its citizens. With respect to the market, it should suppress deception and coercion. Nothing more. Whenever it attempts to interfere in the lives of peaceful honest people, it always results in unintended and unpredictable consequences. Every central plan is doomed to be a failure and to suit no one but the planners.

How’s that? :slight_smile:

Dextromethorphan is a many-faceted drug. In low doses, it causes what some refer to as euphoria, but personally (based on my own experiences) I’d label it dysphoric. (For when you just want to feel different! :rolleyes: )

In higher doses, it can engender hallucinations, and in even higher doses can cause “out of body” experiences and psychosis. It’s commonly referred to as a dissociative drug, & is active at the same receptors that PCP activates in the brain. It can also muck with the cerebellar functions, and can cause seizures.

It is marketed as a cough suppressant, but its ability to actually suppress a cough is rather suspect. It was brought onto the market in the hopes of cutting back on codeine cough syrup abuse. It was quickly abused instead.

There’s the Lib we know and love.

Preach it. I can also only buy a 10 day supply every 30 days… :rolleyes: People with chronic allergies are cursing the stupid tweakers who wrecked it for us.

And don’t tell me to just “try something else.” Believe me, we have tried every fucking thing out there. Sudafed works.

Talk to your doctor, I would guess you could get a prescription version of Sudafed.

Can’t you just order it off drugstore.com or something? Or will that get you on The List somewhere in the DEA offices?