There is the philosophy among some in the USA (and probably the rest of the world) that the best way to prevent people from making mistakes is to withhold information from them. For example, this is particularly noticeable in the case of sex education, where some assert that teaching children about sex is equivalent to giving them permission to copulate, and that, since no sex is perfectly safe, and since teenagers especially have a tendency to take risks (e.g., no birth control), we ought not to teach sex education in the schools. One might just as easily say that teaching children about cars is equivalent to giving them permission to drive, and that, since no driving is perfectly safe, and since teenagers especially have a tendency to take risks (e.g., racing down Main St.), we ought not to teach driving education in schools.

This misguided philosophy of “ignorance is strength” is just as often applied to information pertaining to drug use. In the case of drug use, however, good information is immediately useful towards preventing drug-related injuries. In the case of DXM, there are several possible mistakes people can make, and the chance for making a mistake is compounded by the fact that people hear “you can get high off cough syrup” as advertisement for DXM use. At best they are unprepared for the trip; at worst, they get hold of an acetaminophen-containing preparation and end up in the hospital or dead.

Make no mistake; this information will probably encourage some to try, and continue to use, DXM. That is not my intention. A few of these people may end up addicted, or at least habituated to the point of trouble. That is certainly not my intention. My intention is to make sure that everyone out there knows what the risks and effects of DXM use are, so that s/he can make intelligent choices for herself or himself. An intelligent choice is not always right, but it is fair, and you always learn from it.

This text sprung out of the Usenet newsgroups alt.drugsand alt.psychoactives, where about 1 or 2 questions a week about DXM would appear. After responding weekly, or in some cases daily, I decided to put together all the questions (and a few questions I thought would follow) and write a full explanation of DXM. Some of the material is fairly technical, but I thought it better to give too much information than not enough. It is distributed once a month (more or less) on the Usenet newsgroups rec.drugs.psychedelic and alt.drugs (until the latter disappears); please distribute it beyond Internet and Usenet (subject to the restrictions above).

It is my sincere hope that this type of information may help the Internet fulfill its potential as an information source. Those of us who have the time and ability to provide good information should feel obligated to do so; if we set a standard of high signal and low noise, perhaps others will follow.

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