A lot of reasons, actually. Beyond the obvious one that not everyone knows
about it are a number of reasons which may be more relevant. First and
foremost, DXM doesn’t appeal to everyone; in fact, it seems to follow a
“rule of thirds”. One third of people who try DXM like it, one third hate
it, and one third could care less.

Secondly, doing DXM is either disgusting or a time-consuming process for
most people. Cough syrup tastes bad, and is unpleasant to drink; even the
gelcaps become unpleasant to take after a few times due to their rather
large size. DXM can of course be extracted, but it is a time-consuming
process that requires enough effort to discourage those only casually

Third, DXM is to a certain extent “anti-addictive”, at least when used
occasionally. Because DXM blocks NMDA receptors (see Section 9 and Section
10.3), it prevents associating any pleasant effects of the drug with the
taking of the drug. Instead, the memories of taking the drug are associated
with sensations before the DXM kicks in, e.g., nausea.

Fourth, DXM trips can be extremely confusing, especially if the user
doesn’t have experience with psychedelics. The DXM trip is so unlike an LSD
or mushroom trip that people who take it expecting the latter are often
discouraged and do not repeat the experience.

Finally, DXM has a reputation as a “loser drug”, something people take when
nothing else is available. While it’s true that DXM is legal, and thus can
in fact be taken when nothing else is available, this doesn’t make it any
less powerful (or any safer) than illegal drugs.

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