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Default 03-19-2007, 05:46 PM

'Stay alert,' advises mother of 2 who abused shelf medicine

Published: Mar 19, 2007 2:31 PM EST

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. - At first Mary Ries didn't see her sons' drug abuse.

As teens, her boys, now in their 20s, abused over-the-counter medicine.

One had a penchant for Robitussin DM; the youngest was addicted to Dramamine. Both went to rehab.

"My older son would act silly, and he was always with his friends, but I didn't see it as there was something going on there," the Lancaster mother said. "My younger son, you could see; he couldn't hide that. He had no concept of what was real."

For years, teens have downed bottles of cough medicine to get high.

The cough-suppressing ingredient used nowadays, dextromethorphan, when taken in large amounts, transforms into a disassociative drug. Teens call it "robotrippin," after Robitussin.

While alcohol and marijuana still reign supreme, abuse of over-the-counter medicine is not going away, research shows.

A Partnerships for a Drug Free America report reveals that at least one in 10 teenagers has abused cough medicine to get high.

"Dextramorphan in the cough medicine is a particular concern," said Lisa Starr, prevention specialist with the Lancaster Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse. It's readily available; it's also inexpensive.

Also, as kids consume these medicines, they may be unaware that many contain acetaminophen, the key ingredient in Tylenol.

"That can be deadly in large doses," Starr said.

Dextramorphan is found in dozens of non-prescription cough and cold medications such as Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold tablets, a popular way to swallow the drug because it doesn't involve unpleasant-tasting syrup. It's dubbed "Skittles" or "Triple C."

Parents and teens don't think it's as big as a deal or as harmful as taking street drugs, recent research shows.

"I think it's an invisible problem for the most part," Ries said. "A lot of parents don't know about these over-the-counter medicines and what they can do."

Ries' sons, who were students at Hempfield and Warwick High schools, due to custody arrangements with their father, nearly ruined their lives with it, she says.

Her younger son was a good student and a wrestler.

He overdosed on Dramamine twice. Once his friends dumped him in the street in front of a hospital.

Ries admonishes parents to stay alert.

"Look for empty packages of pills, cough bottles, anything that might be in their kids' rooms," Ries said. "It got to where I had to start looking in their things ... of course teenagers hate that, but that's too bad."

She's not sure what she and their father could have done differently, however.

But who would have thought of Dramamine? Abuse of the motion sickness pill, which causes severe hallucinations, is not that common, experts said.

"It was terrible," she said. "You think, 'my child might have killed themselves over something like that.'"

In recent years, pharmacies have pulled many cold and cough medicines off the shelves and put them behind the counter. The law requires customers to show some identification and limits the amount they can buy.

But that is meant to prevent people from extracting the pseudoephedrine in some medicines to create methamphetamine.

That has nothing to do with the abuse of the other ingredients.
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Psychotic Break Offline
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Default 03-19-2007, 07:07 PM



Silly ignorant people, they know nothing.

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Default 03-19-2007, 07:34 PM

It really doesn't help their credibility that they cant even spell the chemicals name right still... and people are still writing articles talking about 'DMX'

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Default 03-19-2007, 07:40 PM

Finally an article that states the dangers of doing medicine with other active ingredients, instead of blaming solely DMX. :P
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Default 03-19-2007, 08:46 PM

Originally posted by drdĒv€@Mar 19 2007, 03:46 PM
'Stay alert,' advises mother of 2 who abused shelf medicine

But who would have thought of Dramamine? Abuse of the motion sickness pill, which causes severe hallucinations, is not that common, experts said.
i'll bet the 'experts' were the other menopausal old ladies in the mom's book club or something

"know your dope fiend. you will not be able to see his eyes because of tea shades, but his knuckles will be white from inner tension and his pants will be crusted with semen from constantly jacking off when he can't find a rape victim." - Fear & Loathing
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spud Offline
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Default 03-28-2007, 07:12 AM

Thankfully, Lancaster. PA is on the job.

Nine years into the future and we're still counting the dead and the dying. Still totalling the countless hidden victims of heightened state terror. Still believing the *LIES* of a PEACE and PROSPERITY. Of a peace with a hundred thousand excecuted by disease, of a prosperity with millions living on the streets.
...and I've got to wonder
What the fuck it's gonna take, can it be undone? Can we stem the tide of violence, or are you gonna sit back and relax and watch TV while the fucking have-nots get their heads kicked in over and over and over again?
Are we going to keep counting the policies that failed and the lies that worked. They worked; we SWALLOWED THEM WHOLE.
-Born Against "Nine years later"
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