Dextromethorphan (DXM) is a synthetic drug found in many over-the-counter cough medications and expectorants. This substance promotes the removal of mucus from the respiratory tract and gives temporary relief of sinus congestion, cough, sneezing, runny nose, itching of the throat, and watery eyes. There are approximately 70 DXM-containing products, which adverse side effects and safety. During the past few years, DXM use and abuse is on the rise. The DEA reports that illicit use occurs when medicines. This is a legal substance approved by the FDA, which is frequently abused by recreational users.
There are many street names for dextromethorphan. These include Poor Man’s Ecstasy, Dextro, Groove, Robo, Rome,Tussin, Velvet X, Skittles, Triple C, Brownies, Black Beauties, Turnarounds, and Dexies. The injectable form is often called Romilar K. DXM use is called roboing, robodosing, roboting, robocopping, robotripping, and tussin toss. At high doses, DXM is a dissociative general anesthetic and hallucinogen. Sudden cessation of this drug leads to serious withdrawals and psychological effects, such as depression and drug cravings.
Recreational users of DXM take high doses in order to experience a heightened sense of awareness, visual hallucinations, and altered time perception. This drug is often used along with alcohol or other drugs. The interaction between the substances produces a dangerous synergistic effect. Also, when taken in high dosages, cough medicines containing acetaminophen will damage the liver, kidneys, and heart, and even cause stroke or death.
DXM abuse prevalence is not identified because it is difficult to trace. Licit use among consumers involves a dose of 10 to 20 mg every four to six hours. Recreational users will often take up to 1500 mg at a time, and some heavy users report ingesting 3 or 4 bottles each day of DXM. According to the DEA, Internet sites advise young people to drink the syrup fast, as it needs to be absorbed before vomiting begins. Also, there is powder, capsule, and pill forms of DXM available on the Internet. Users will find instructions on just how to use/abuse this drug readily via the WWW.
DXM is associated with powerful psychedelic effects, which are comparable to ketamine and PCP. These effects vary based on the dose. Users describe these effects as a sense of complete dissociation from one’s body, and they last for up to 6 hours. Effects include:
- Panic attacks and anxiety
- Lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Rapid eye movement
- Nausea and vomiting
When abused regularly, a DXM user will experience tolerance and dependence, but this relies on the frequency of use and dosing. A high-dose chronic use of this drug is likely to lead to toxic psychosis, which is a mental condition with loss of touch with reality. Prolonged use of DXM can also lead to physical dependence, which causes withdrawals when the user does not have the substance. Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, diarrhea, weight loss, and vomiting.