When people think of addictive drugs, they think of tobacco, cocaine, and any number of other substances that can have a negative effect on the human body. What people do not think of, however, is cough medicine. It was originally a prediction made by scientists a few years ago that is now coming true. More and more people are abusing cough medicine for its active ingredient: dextromethorphan or DMX.
A report in 2012 showed that over 50,000 high school students were caught abusing cough medications. Dextromethorphan is the active ingredient in a wide variety of cough and flu medicines sold over the counter. Despite the fact that DXM is chemically similar to both morphine and codeine, it is not classified as a controlled substance by the United States government. In order to draw attention to its mind altering qualities, the Food and Drug Administration has regularly issued warnings and restrictions about cough medicine to raise awareness. DXM works by reducing sensitivity in the brain’s cough control center, not curing the cough, but controlling the symptom. It increases levels of dopamine in the brain as well, simulating a sensation of pleasure while creating a psychological and physical addiction.
Is Dextromethorphan addictive? If used as medically intended, no. The problem, however, is the fact that it is one of the most abused substances in the country. It can cause a dissociative state, mild hallucinations, and can result in numerous problems in the body. Particularly high levels of DXM can result in brain damage, due to a lack of oxygen reaching the brain’s cells. Seizures and a slowed heart rate can also be expected from abusing this drug. Overdoses are fairly common as well, and symptoms can include over activity, severe hallucinations, intoxication, a lack of coordination, and shallow breathing. They can be life threatening if mixed with other drugs.
Time To Get Help
Treatment options for this substance involve clinic visits and drug rehab programs, just like with any other addictive drug. If you know somebody who is struggling with a DMX addiction, it is crucial for you to get them the help they need as soon as possible.