OVER The Counter Medications OTCs
OVER-THE-COUNTER COUGH SYRUP AND COLD MEDICATIONS, DEXTROMETHORPHAN OR DMX
You may not be aware that a number of OVER-THE-COUNTER (OTC) MEDICINES can potentially be abused to get high. But it’s important to educate yourself about the potential abuse of consumer products found right in your home—to know the facts about OTC products and medication abuse. Talk with family members about the proper use of all medications— including those available over the counter—and the health risks associated with their abuse.
Some people mistakenly think that prescription drugs are more powerful and dangerous, but it is possible to abuse or become addicted to OTC medications, too. One type of product abused is OTC cough and cold remedies that contain dextromethorphan (DXM). There is nothing wrong with taking the amount recommended, but high doses can cause problems, especially with vision and hearing. Taking more than the recommended dose can lead to confusion, stomach pain, numbness and even hallucinations.
DXM is found in more than 125 OTC products, most commonly in caplet or liquid form. A dangerous trend is that dextromethorphan can also be purchased in a bulk powder over the Internet. Some websites encourage DMX abuse and actually offer ideas for the best way to achieve a high.
Depending on the dose, DXM’s effects vary; misuse creates both depressant and mild hallucinogenic effects. If you consume large doses, it may cause impaired judgment and mental performance, loss of coordination, dizziness, nausea, hot flashes, dissociation, hallucinations and even death. High doses are extremely dangerous, especially when mixed with alcohol or other drugs.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE, THE NATIONAL YOUTH ANTI-DRUG MEDIA CAMPAIGN OFFICE OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY
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