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Every parent worries about drugs, but did you ever think that some of your biggest nightmares might be right there in your medicine cabinet? These over-the-counter (OTC) medications, like Vicks, Nyquil or Robitussin, that you buy to stop your child's cough are just one of the medicines today's teens are using and abusing at alarming rates. By far the most sought out ingredient in these cold medicines is Dextromethorphan - or DXM - (the ingredient found in most popular over the counter cold and cough medicines). When abusing Vicks and other OTC drugs, many individuals are taking as much as 25 to 50 times the recommended doses to get high.DXM can be safely taken in 15 to 30 milligram doses, but when products like Vicks or other over the counter cold medicines are taken in significant doses, it can produce euphoric highs and even hallucinations. By taking these mega doses or combining Vicks and other cold meds with alcohol, the user may experience many unpleasant side effects including coma or in rare instances, even death. Kids perceive that because cough and cold medications like Vicks cold meds are available in drug stores they are safe.
Dextremethorphan, also known as DXM is in Vicks cold medicine and more than 100 over-the-counter medicines. DXM is a synthetic drug that chemically is similar to morphine.Individuals abusing cold medications like Vicks may exhibit the typical side effects of DXM abuse. These side effects include confusion, impaired judgment, blurred vision, dizziness, itching, drowsiness, paranoia, excessive sweating, slurred speech, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, headaches, facial redness, and disorientation. Names kids use for cough medicines include: Dex, DXM, Skittles, Poor Man's PCP, Candy, Red Devils, Robo, Velvet, Vitamin D, Syrup, Tussin, Triple-C, and CCC. Popular expressions for abusing over-the counter cough medicines are Robo-tripping, Dexing, Robo-fizzing, and Skittling. Users are sometimes called "syrup heads" or "robotards." Parents should look for empty medicine wrappers or bottles. Teens, and individuals abusing Vicks and similar cold products, either take several pills or smash them so all of it is released at once. Other signs of DMX use, especially in teens are changes in physical appearance and hygiene, eating or sleeping patterns; hostile and uncooperative attitude; unexplained disappearance of household money; visits to pro-drug web sites. There are many things parents can do to help to curtail DXM abuse. Check your medicine cabinet or even lock it. Keep track of how much medicine is in each bottle or container. Talk about the dangers of abuse (and combining those medications with alcohol and other drugs). Recently, in a number of cases in which individuals abused Vicks and similar cold medicines loss of consciousness has occurred. Heavy, chronic abuse of Vicks cold formula or other cold meds containing DXM could possibly cause Olney's Lesions to form on the brain. This type of brain damage can affect memory, cognitive ability, and emotional behavior.
Individuals abusing Vicks cold formulas and other OTC products are doing so to get high. People that abuse over the counter drugs or any chemical substance should seek treatment; it could possibly be a life saving measure.