Dextromethorphan, known as DXM, can be described as an active ingredient that is found in numerous over-the-counter cold and cough medications. There are approximately about 70 products that contain the ingredient. When it is taken in the recommended doses, the medications are effective and safe. However when it is taken in high doses, it can be quite dangerous especially when it is combined with other active ingredients that are used to make the medications which increases the risks.
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DMX Drug Addiction Overview
DXM (Dextromethorphan) was approved by FDA in 1958 after research supported its effectiveness and legitimacy as a cough suppressant. After it was approved, it was introduced as Romilar as an OTC medication. By 1975, the extensive abuse and popularity of the drug was recognized and it had to be removed from the market. However it is important to note that it was specifically excluded from CSA (Controlled Substance Act) of 1970 thus it is not illegal to produce as well as use it. After it was removed from the OTC market, other companies went into the business of producing refined DXM products. These were specifically meant to limit its recreational use by offering consumers an unpleasant taste when taken in large quantities like Deztrotussion, Vicks-44 and Robitussin among many others.
Signs and Symptoms of DXM Abuse
There are a number of signs and symptoms that are related to DXM drug addiction. The symptoms are usually dependent on the amount of the medication that a person has taken and whether or not it was taken in conjunction with other drugs such as marijuana or alcohol.
Effects of Abusing DXM (Short and Long Term)
Physical effects of DXM Abuse includes:
- Loss of coordination/dizziness
- Confusion and disorientation
- Stomach spasms
- Muscle twitches
- Labored slow breath
- Fast heart rate
- Slurred speech
- Loss of memory
- Loss of sense perceptions
- Inability to focus on any task
- Loss of memory
- Itchy skin
- Numb extremities
- Liver failure/damage
- Speeded heart rate
Emotional and Behavioral Effects of DXM Use
- Negative moods, depression
- Avoiding family members and staying away from former friends who do not indulge
- Changes in activities such as abandoning clubs or former hobbies
- Lower grades in school
- Staying in the bedroom for long hours under closed doors
- Behavior problems at work or school
- Secretive and antagonism behavior
By observing some of the above effects a parent or guardian can get a clue as to what is going on in their loved ones life. You need to do something to help curb DXM drug addiction because if it happens for a long time, it may be quite hard to stop using the drug.
Statistics of DXM Drug Addiction and Abuse
Many people who use DXM (Dextromethorphan) normally end up at the emergency room. FDA issues a warming in May 2005 about the use of the drug whether it is from medication or gotten from illicit sources. In 2006, approximately 3.1 million individuals aged 12-25 have been using OTC cold and cough medications to become high and almost a million had done that in the past year. According to DAWN (Drug Abuse Warning Network) about 16, 858 emergency department cases in 2004 has to do with misuse of DXM. The rate of emergency department visits from persons abusing the drug is about 5.7 visits for every 100.000 for the overall population especially for young people aged 12-20 years.