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Coricidin (CCC) Abuse
The latest substance abuse trend involves taking over-the-counter cold remedies containing dextromethorphan, also known as DXM.The abuse of Coricidin, which some teens refer to as "Triple C's, is so appealing, teens say, because it's easy to get, it's legal, and parents and teachers usually don't have any idea they're taking it. When parents see that their kids have Coricidin cold pills, they don't think twice. It's just cold medicine, after all; it seems innocent enough. Often the kids don't even buy the Coricidin - they steal it. The shoplifting has led some stores to move that type of Coricidin and other cold products containing DXM behind the counter. Failing grades or a trip to the hospital is sometimes what it takes to alert kids and their parents to the danger. Doctors say they're seeing more and more kids in emergency rooms who've taken too much Coricidin. At a hospital in Texas, emergency room personnel observed that the kids who come in to the emergency room after consuming large doses of cold medications containing DMX, like Coricidin, are agitated, difficult to control, sweating and unresponsive when you try to speak to them, Over the last three years, there's been approximately a 300 percent increase in calls to poison control centers about dextramethorphan. Some parents say Coricidin, because it's so accessible, is worse than prescription or street drugs. They want it taken off store shelves. But the company that makes Coricidin, Schering-Plough HealthCare Products, said removing it from the shelves would deny cold sufferers access to a helpful medication. Wal-Mart's policy is to sell it only to customers 18 or older, and the chain limits the number of boxes people can buy to three. Still, kids who want to abuse the medicine can still find it in stores or buy it over the Internet. Ultimately, making the decision not to abuse Coricidin and other over the counter cold medications will be up to the kids.
Dextromethorphan-containing products, come in the form of tablets, capsules, gel caps, lozenges, and syrups - are labeled DM, cough suppressant, or Tuss (or contain "tuss" in the title).Individuals using large doses of Coricidin and other cold products containing DXM, hope to feel euphoria and excitement, but often encounter instead drowsiness, vomiting, hallucinations, convulsions, high blood pressure, coma or even death. Some of the signs of Coricidin use include confusion, difficulty walking, and vomiting, which are similar to alcohol intoxication. Added ingredients add potential problems, including high fevers or liver failure. Coricidin, and other over the counter cold medications containing DXM can cause heart or nervous system damage. Long-term abuse of DXM can cause mental illness (psychosis), erectile dysfunction, frequent urination, chronic high blood pressure, muscle contortions and rapid back-and-forth eye movements (nystagmus).
Medicines containing dextromethorphan are easy to find, affordable for cash-strapped teens, and perfectly legal. Getting access to Coricidin and other cough and cold products containing DXM, is often as easy as walking into the local drugstore with a few dollars or raiding the family medicine cabinet. And because it's found in over-the-counter medicines, many teens naively assume that Coricidin and other OTC products containing DXM cannot be dangerous, but this assumption could be deadly. Coricidin abuse and addiction should be taken as seriously as any other chemical dependency, and treatment should be provided to give the individual the best chance at recovery.