When you’re dealing with a cough, you’ll do almost anything to feel better. That includes popping sticky pills and slurping sweet syrups. You’re hoping to suppress the hacking so your throat can heal, and over-the-counter solutions with dextromethorphan can do the trick. However, dextromethorphan, also known as DXM, provides a desired high which can lead to a deadly drug addiction.
Officials with the Consumer Healthcare Products Association say these products are non-narcotic and nonaddictive. But even so, there are many people out there who use DXM to get high, and some get addicted.
- Sedated. They may weave when they walk and slur when they talk. They may ask to sit or lie down, and they may drift off into sleep very quickly.
- Confused. They may say or do things that seem unusual. Some people even grow violent. They can’t be reasoned with, and their behavior may escalate if they’re confronted.
- Sick. They may complain of nausea, or they may vomit frequently. They may also have flushed skin and complain of a rapid heartbeat.
- Drunk. Staggering, slurred speech and nausea can come with alcohol intoxication too. Some people who abuse DXM abuse alcohol at the same time.
When the high wears off, users may leave telltale hints behind. Some indicate that a binge has passed, and others suggest that a new problem is about to emerge. Users might:
- Have trash to dispose of. Empty bottles and boxes that once held DXM could clog up your recycle bins.
- Get unexplained packages. DXM in powdered form is available online, and it can be shipped right to your house.
- Use strange terms. Users might call their DXM abuse robotripping or dexing. They might also refer to the drug as skittles, CCC, or robo.
- Steal. Medications may go missing from your bathrooms, or cash could disappear from your wallet.
- Make new friends. Unusual people who seem just as impaired as the one you love may appear in your home.
These are hard changes to live with, and they can leave you feeling worried or even a little distressed. They can also be hard for the person you love to deal with. All of these changes are indicators of pain. You can help.
If you suspect that someone is abusing DXM, start a conversation. Outline the changes you’ve seen, and discuss your fears and concerns. Give the person room to confide in you, but know that may not happen right away. It’s okay. This may be a conversation you have multiple times until the person you love feels comfortable opening up and asking for help.
Learning more about how treatment works can also help you have a conversation with meaning. People dependent on DXM may have no idea that there are solutions available.