Dextromethorphan is the active ingredient in over 140 different types of over-the-counter cough syrup and cough medicine. It is an addictive medication, one that is commonly abused by adolescents and young adults because of its accessibility and affordability. When taken exactly as suggested, this OTC medication is effective in treating the more severe symptoms associated with the common cold. When taken in higher doses, the medication can cause dissociative and psychedelic effects and is known to produce feelings of euphoria.
The recommended dose caps at 30mg every 6-8 hours – individuals who abuse this specific medication typically take between 300 and 1200mg in one sitting. It is important to understand the immense dangers involved in taking this much DXM at one time. Not only do individuals who consume such high doses put themselves at risk of overdose (especially when they are combining DXM with other chemical substances), but they are putting themselves at risk of a wide range of additional (and often life-threatening) health-related complications.
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DXM is an Addictive Ingredient in Cough Syrup
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has classified dextromethorphan as an addictive and dangerous chemical substance, though it can still be legally – and easily – purchased by any American over the age of 18. If you believe that someone you know has been actively abusing dextromethorphan, encouraging them to reach out for professional help is extremely important.
At Recreate Life Counseling, we have extensive experience working with men and women of all ages who are in the uncommon position of abusing over-the-counter medications. Unfortunately, because these medications are legal, many individuals mistakenly believe that they can cause no serious damage and that they are safe to use regardless of the dose. This is far from true.
What Does DXM Feel Like?
People generally abuse DXM for its dissociative and sedative effects. Taking DXM in high doses is more commonly referred to as “robotripping.” Those who “robotrip” describe the sensation as being different depending on the dose.
Below is a detailed chart of how much DXM causes physical and psychological effects. Again – “robotripping” is never safe, and can result in a wide range of serious – sometimes fatal – side effects. If you or someone close to you has been abusing DXM, reach out for help today.
Dextromethorphan High Timeline
1st plateau: 100mg – 200mg – The user will experience mild stimulation, often reports feeling more relaxed and social. Some describe the feeling as close to that of molly or ecstasy – they feel more talkative and friendly and experience a slight increase in energy levels.
2nd plateau: 200mg – 400mg – Most users describe feelings of intense happiness and euphoria, and some begin to experience auditory and visual hallucinations. Many describe the feeling as being similar to a moderate or severe drunk – they lose coordination, begin slurring their speech and lose the ability to make rational decisions. This can be exceedingly dangerous.
3rd plateau: 300mg – 600mg – Users often describe feelings similar to the feelings that are produced by ketamine, a dissociative drug. Motor functions are harshly compromised, and inhibitions are nearly eradicated in their entirety. Those who take over 300mg of DXM describe intense hallucinations, which they have a difficult time differentiating from real life.
4th plateau: 500mg – 1500mg – When DXM is taken in doses higher than 500mg, users describe that they feel like they are on a hallucinogenic drug as intense as (if not more intense than) PCP. At this stage, the individual becomes completely incapacitated and is likely to engage in angry behavior and unexpected, violent outbursts.
Additional physical effects: Some additional physical effects of dextromethorphan abuse include hot flashes and an overall spike in body temperature, profuse sweating, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, itchy skin and skin rashes, an increase in blood pressure, heart palpitations and irregular heartbeat, inability to speak without slurring words and a general lack of physical coordination.
The physical effects will begin to take hold within 30 minutes after the dose is taken, and will generally last for around three or four hours depending on how high the dose was. Taking upwards of 1500mg could mean that the physical effects last up to six full hours, depending on body weight.
Recreate Life Counseling and DXM Addiction Recovery
At Recreate Life Counseling, we have extensive experience helping men and women of all ages overcome DXM abuse and addiction and go on to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. For more information on our comprehensive program of drug addiction recovery, reach out to us today.