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OTC Drug Treatment
A disturbing trend in over-the-counter (OTC) drug abuse has dramatically increased. Over the counter (OTC) drugs are medications that can be purchased at a pharmacy, convenience store, or grocery without a prescription to treat the symptoms of headaches, colds, or many other common ailments. Data from a report by the California Poison Control shows that since 1999 teen abuse of Coricidin pills, Robitussin cough syrup and other common medications had risen ten- to fifteen-fold for children ages 9 to 17, increasing the need for OTC Drug Treatment. A 2005 study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America places teen abuse of cold medications on par or higher than the abuse of illegal drugs such as ecstasy, cocaine, and heroine. A great majority of OTCs contain an opiate derivative known as dextromethorphan (DXM). For parents of teens addicted to OTC's, the warning signs include OTC drugs missing from the medicine cabinet, OTC drugs hidden in child's room or backpack, and the increased usage of cough and cold medications even when no obvious cold symptoms exist. Over the counter diet pills are another dangerous OTC drug. With these over the counter weight loss medications, the likelihood of addiction is greater than prescription diet pills because they are easier to access .Over the counter does not mean they're less potent, it just means they are less controlled. OTC drug addiction and therefore the need for treatment are more likely because of the above stated facts. Drug treatment centers across the country are seeing record numbers in the cases of OTC addiction.
Approximately half of OTC drugs contain DXM, which equals over half of all OTC medications. DXM can be found in OTC meds in many different forms that include capsules, gel capsules, tablets, lozenges, and syrups. Drugs with DXM are often labeled as DM, cough, or cough suppressants and are often used for common colds. These drugs are easily affordable at places as convenient as the mini-mart of a gas station. Today people are also using the Internet to buy the pure powder form of DXM, which can be taken inhaled as a powder, making this OTC drug more potent, and therefore the risk of addiction and OTC Drug Treatment even greater. Many users abuse DXM for the hallucinogenic effect. "Dexing" is the most common term for abusing DXM and street names for DXM include, Triple C, Skittles, DM, DEX, Tussin, Vitamin D, or Red Devils. Even though DXM is a legal, over the counter drug and when used appropriately is relatively safe, its negative effects when taken in higher than recommended doses can be physically damaging resulting in even death. Treatment should be sought out in the case of OTC addiction to this powerful substance. Other OTC's include sleep aids such as (doxylamine, ex: Unisom) and antihistamines (diphenhydramine, ex: Benadryl. to name a few.
When the above listed over the counter drugs are abused they can cause hallucinogenic effects and when these OTC's are combined with alcohol, it can be a fatal combination. High doses of DXM, found in many over the counter cold medications, can distort one's thinking and cause a loss of motor control, and OTC drug treatment should be an option to the individual because of these dangerous side effects. It can also lead to hallucinations and dissociative feelings that can be extremely seductive to the abuser. The physical effects of some of these OTC's containing DXM, are numerous and in many cases can be deadly. The often short term side effects of many OTC's that contain DMX include irregular heartbeat, slurred speech, excessive sweating, high blood pressure, lethargy ,headache and redness of the face, just to name a few. The long term affects are extremely serious, as they include brain damage, seizures, dry itchy skin, high blood pressure, and in many instances, these OTC's can cause death, so treatment should be put in place as these addictions, as noted can be fatal. Those people who are addicted to the OTC drugs, as their tolerance for some of these over the counter drugs builds, there is a greater chance of an overdose. Treatment for OTC addictions can be a life saving measure that should be put in place before an overdose takes place.
There are also many other negative effects created by addictions of these OTC medications, including the social and behavioral risks. The fact that OTC drugs may be easier to obtain does not in any way change the drugs physical and psychological threat to your well being. The fact remains that OTC drug addiction is a real problem, and in many instances, getting support through treatment is the only solution for long term success.