DXM Abuse Signs

DXM, also known as dextromethorphan, is a common substance in the US. It replaced codeine as the active ingredient in over-the-counter cough medications in 1970. Products that have DXM include Sudafed, Triaminic, and Comtrex, among others. The use of DXM is an increasing source of concern in the US due to the fact that it is increasingly being abused by young people between 12 and 20 years. In addition to that, many families have cough syrups, with few parents being aware of the potential abuse of DXM by their children.

A notable effect of DXM is the dissociation effect that the drug has on the user. After ingestion, a user experiences five physical and psychological levels of feelings known as plateaus. The last three plateaus are the most profound, with the user experiencing a detached feeling from reality. This effect of the drug is responsible for addiction. There are a number of effects associated with DXM use. Short term effects include:

  • Imbalance
  • Dizziness
  • Hyperthermia
  • Hypertension

DXM Abuse Signs

Serious short-term effects are characterized by rashes, facial edemas, and loss of consciousness, among others. In such instances, it is advisable to discontinue use. Dangers become apparent with an intake increase. It is prudent to note that the effects of DXM on an individual depend on the body and genetic makeup of the individual. Long-term effects of DXM use include depression and DXM tolerance, leading to increased intake of up to 3600 mgs doses daily. Thirdly, the user will develop physical and psychological dependencies.

Users exhibit a number of symptoms. The drug user will be very secretive. DXM users use the drug in their rooms or at social settings (e.g. raves). The user will get high all night and sleep during the day. Secondly, users have out-of-reality experiences which are attributed to the disassociation effect of DXM. Users report hearing voices ordering them around. Thirdly, users experience a breakdown of relationships between them and their friends or relatives. As with many other drugs, DXM occupies a central part of the user’s life.

Consequently, users relegate important aspects of their lives (e.g. family, friends, and jobs). Users of this drug also become selfish, hostile, uncooperative, and mean to people around them. Other signs associated with use of this drug include:

  • Fever
  • Stomach cramps
  • Severe headaches
  • Urination problems

Parents are advised to watch out for a number of signs that may indicate their children are abusing DXM.

Such signs include missing or empty cough syrups in the medicine cabinet, attitude change, and a change in sleeping patterns. The child may also have medicinal smell in his or her breath. It is paramount for parents to enlighten their children about the dangers of abusing cough syrup. Secondly, parents should closely watch their children to ensure that they are not abusing DXM.