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drdĒv€
10-19-2004, 06:18 AM
Children might cringe at the prospect of swallowing a teaspoon of cough syrup, but thousands of teens in the United States are using over-the-counter cold medicines to get high.

"It's more like mixing ... cough syrup, Advil and Tylenol," said Amber Tozier-Robbins, a student at Fitchburg High School.

Tozier-Robbins, 18, said she does not abuse cold medicine herself but knows other teens who do.

"It's a lot more common than people think," she said. "People do it just for fun ... mostly at home when they can't get weed (marijuana)."

"It's over-the-counter -- kids can use it and trip for a while and then be relatively normal," said Dr. Edward W. Boyer, director of Medical Toxicology at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. "I think (pharmacy regulations) is a reasonable approach, because parents don't know what to look for and doctors can't screen for it. Someone has got to protect the kids, because the kids can't protect themselves."

Sixty-five percent of 374 calls reporting intentional abuse or misuse of cold and cough medicines in 2003 came from people age 13 to 19, according to the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Regional Poison Control Center.

The Poison Control Center received 36,000 drug-related calls in 2003.

That figure is up from 64 percent in 2002 and 58 percent in 2001.

Literally exploding

Fred Aleguas, clinical manager for the Poison Control Center, said common cold preparations are ranked fifth in drug-related calls.

"We do get calls on it, kids do show up in the ER," Aleguas said. "But it is not a huge amount ... it is something being recognized and addressed."

Setting limits

Large corporate drug stores such as CVS and Walgreens have new limits on certain over-the-counter drugs containing dextromethorphan -- an FDA approved cough suppressant that in large doses can cause hallucinations and feelings of unreality.

Slang terms for using DXM include "robo-tripping" and "skittling."

Some types of common cough syrups such as Robitussin, Coricidin and Vicks contain dextromethorphan, or DXM.

Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant that can be used to illegally manufacture the addictive drug methamphetamine. Pseudoephedrine is found in Sudafed.

Boyer noted the formulation in medicines with DXM have changed.

"Before it would take an entire bottle (to get high)," he said. "But now one (pill packet) and you're off to the races."

DXM medicines are often mixed with other drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or antihistamines, which can increase possible health problems if taken in large amounts, said Boyer.

Potential health risks from abusing DXM range from trauma caused by inability to control actions to seizures and hypothermia.

Products mixed with antihistamines can also drive up one's heart rate or cause a person to overheat, Boyer said.

Another concern with DXM is that it's used with younger adolescents, ages 12 to 13, and it's use is slightly more prevalent among girls, said Boyer.

"Your body isn't there and you don't know what's going on," Boyer said. "Could it be used as a date rape drug or cause unintended sex? Sure."

Boyer said pediatricians worry large doses of DXM could cause brain damage in younger kids who are still developing.

Warning signs

Physical signs of DXM abuse can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion and dizziness, according to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

Those health risks lead teens who spoke to the Sentinel & Enterprise to label robo-tripping as a bad idea.

"It's cough medicine -- it's medication," said Tozier-Robbins. "I think it's a bad idea."

Several students had never heard of using common medicines as a drug.

The idea of downing a bottle of Robitussin caused some youths to shudder.

"I remember not wanting it as a kid," Matt Bernat, 20, of Fitchburg, said about cough syrup. "I couldn't imagine chugging it."

Some large chain pharmacies updated their policies on purchasing cold and cough formulas this year.

Walgreens limited the purchase of Coricidin HBP products to three packages at a time, starting in January.

"We also watch very closely to see if it's being shoplifted," said Carol Hively, corporate spokeswoman for Walgreens. "If so it's brought into the pharmacy or put in a lock-up case."

Hively said registers at Walgreens are programed to block the sale of such products after three packages are scanned in.

"It's something we were keeping an eye on," Hively said. "We were ready for a chainwide step, rather than store by store."

Mike DeAngelis, spokesman for CVS, said the company instituted an age requirement to purchase specific products this spring.

"You need to be 18 years of age to buy Coricidin," DeAngelis said. "We were getting feedback in communities where we operate stores that this was a problem."

Pharmacists are also required by federal law to report suspicious sales of pseudoephedrine to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

Workers from independent local pharmacies that spoke to the Sentinel & Enterprise said their stores do not have formal policies in place concerning over-the-counter drugs.

"We have no policy in place because we're a small store and we're more aware of our customer base," said Joe Cerio, owner of Westminister Pharmacy. "If a teenager was buying more than one bottle (of cough syrup) I'd certainly not make the sale."

Cerio said while his pharmacy doesn't sell much over-the-counter drugs to teens, any increased sales would likely raise suspicion.

"Just talking about it makes me think maybe we should have a policy," he said.

Allan Esper, owner and manager of Adams Pharmacy in Leominster, said his store has no over-the-counter drug policy in place.

"In this area we haven't seen any abuse of it and there's not that much on the shelves," said Esper. "It's pretty easy to see abuse, because we sell three to four bottles a day at the most. If we started selling more, we'd know right away."

http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/Stori...2476037,00.html (http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/Stories/0,1413,106~4992~2476037,00.html)

deadheadbeast
10-19-2004, 07:07 PM
"It's more like mixing ... cough syrup, Advil and Tylenol," said Amber Tozier-Robbins, a student at Fitchburg High School.


Yep, it's just like that.

"Your body isn't there and you don't know what's going on," Boyer said. "Could it be used as a date rape drug or cause unintended sex? Sure."


Sex is definitely what's on my mind when I'm dexing.

Several students had never heard of using common medicines as a drug.


Well now they have. Good investegative reporting. :shake:

cindowsxp
10-20-2004, 02:01 AM
Last I knew, people barely wanted to be close on dex unless you are really close to the person in the first place, and then you just wanna talk mainly :P

vapor
10-20-2004, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by [email protected] 20 2004, 01:01 AM
Last I knew, people barely wanted to be close on dex unless you are really close to the person in the first place, and then you just wanna talk mainly :P
yeah it all depends on the person. Me, I like to be alone when I dex. Im more of a solitary person anyway, I mean ill go to parties and tlak to people and stuff but thats when I like to use meth or maybe morphine possibly alcohol. Dissociatives isnt really my social drug.

Most of the time I like to be alone when I smoke cush, but see like I said im a solitary person, I like to concentrate on the experience I guess. I dont know.

Another concern with DXM is that it's used with younger adolescents, ages 12 to 13, and it's use is slightly more prevalent among girls, said Boyer.

We have 12 and 13 year old female dexers!?!?!? :crazy:

i fucking hope not. that is wayy too young to be using any type of psychedelic drug.

DXM User
10-21-2004, 12:18 AM
I read this, I'm thinking "Would they prefer we did the ever-so-deadly marijuana? Or the elusive but fatal LSD? Oh no! Something they know how to treat! Oh dear!"

gargantuan
10-22-2004, 08:45 PM
Fitchburg!?


Thats where i went to college last year... wandering the town tripping at least 2 times a week.

heh.

DXM User
10-22-2004, 09:04 PM
haha using DXM as a date-rape drug!

"Hey honey, just down these 30 large, red pills before we leave the club, arite?"

vapor
10-23-2004, 03:05 AM
Originally posted by DXM [email protected] 20 2004, 11:18 PM
I read this, I'm thinking "Would they prefer we did the ever-so-deadly marijuana? Or the elusive but fatal LSD? Oh no! Something they know how to treat! Oh dear!"
OF COURSE NOT. DIDNT YOU WATCH REEFER MADNESS?!

toshiro
10-23-2004, 11:43 PM
Originally posted by drdĒv€@Oct 19 2004, 05:18 AM
Tozier-Robbins, 18, said she does not abuse cold medicine herself but knows other teens who do.
LOL! Riiiiiiiiight.

*cough**cough*

:sly:

DXM User
10-24-2004, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by toshiro+Oct 23 2004, 10:43 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (toshiro @ Oct 23 2004, 10:43 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--drdĒv€@Oct 19 2004, 05:18 AM
Tozier-Robbins, 18, said she does not abuse cold medicine herself but knows other teens who do.
LOL! Riiiiiiiiight.

*cough**cough*

:sly: [/b][/quote]
Toshiro! You ok?
I think you need some cough syrup!

EternalMetal
11-08-2004, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by DXM [email protected] 22 2004, 08:04 PM
haha using DXM as a date-rape drug!

"Hey honey, just down these 30 large, red pills before we leave the club, arite?"
lol, like that wouldnt be noticeable at all.

yet another bad dxm article.