DXM, which is also known as dextromethorphan, is a substance which is typically found in cough medicine. Some people, particularly teenagers, will take high dosages in order to get high. Because DXM is commonly available and cheaper than other drugs such as ecstasy, meth or cocaine, it has become quite popular. When taken as recommended, DXM is perfectly safe, but abusing it can lead to both addiction and various other problems. About fifty percent of the over the counter drugs sold in the U.S. contain this substance, which makes its illicit use difficult to curtail.
This drug is problematic due to the fact that it is legal to use. Unlike other street drugs, many of which are illegal, anyone who wants to get high on DXM can simply visit a pharmacy or supermarket and purchase cough medicine which contains it. DXM was first made available in the United States during the 1950s. It was never meant to be used recreationally, but its ability to provide a powerful high has led to its usage for this purpose. Many parents have no idea that their teenagers are using cough medicine in this way.
Warning Signs of DXM Addiction
There are a number of warning signs that an individual may be addicted to DXM. They may sweat profusely and their temperature may be higher than normal. Eyesight may be disrupted, and the user may also breathe rapidly. Those who overdose on DXM may also have nausea and diarrhea, as well as vomiting. Additional warning signs to watch for include:
- Impaired speech
- Loss of memory
- High blood pressure or heart rate
- Rapidly moving eyes
- Experiencing hallucinations
Side Effects of DXM Abuse
There are many adverse consequences which result from abusing this drug. One of the most serious of these is overdoses. Because high dosages are needed to get high, the user runs the risk of taking too much. An overdose can shut down the central nervous system, killing the user. Even if overdosing doesn’t kill the addict, they may severely damage their liver or heart. In addition to DXM, cough medicines also contain other ingredients that may be toxic in sufficient dosages. Additional side effects which are associated with this substance are:
- Altered consciousness
- Irrational or risky behavior
- A persistent fever
- Bluish or pale skin
- May be unresponsive
- Has a pulse which is fast or slow
Because DXM is often heavily used by teenagers, parents must get involved in helping them to overcome their addiction. Simple actions include removing any medications from the home that contain this substance. Another option is to lock the medicine cabinet and switch to medications which are DXM free. Of course, if someone is already addicted to the substance, these measures won’t be enough. Rehab services are designed to assist those who are heavily dependent.
A number of treatment programs are available to help you stop DXM addiction for good. Patients have the option of choosing inpatient or outpatient care besides a variety of other treatment programs. When entering rehab, a patient will be assessed to determine their addiction level, and an appropriate treatment plan will be created. Payment for rehab services can be made through insurance, cash or credit so you should never think that you cannot afford treatment costs.
Contact us today at NeuroPsychiatric Addiction Clinic for more details on how we can help you on your path to achieve full recovery from DXM addiction in South Florida.