Saturday, March 05, 2005

Good Details in this DXM Story

The London Free Press has a great article on DXM, the active ingredient in cold remedies that kids take in mega-doses to get high ... and sometimes die. Here's some good information from the article:
In fact, the growing use in North America of these drug-store stalwarts has spawned a whole new lexicon, including "robotripping" and popping "Skittles," "Red Devils" and "Triple Cs," the latter the street term for Coricidin Cough and Cold. Those who take them for a high are called "syrup heads."

All these non-prescription remedies contain dextromethorphan, or DXM, a cough suppressant chemically related to morphine, a potent narcotic. Fuelled by word of mouth and Internet how-to manuals, some teens are guzzling cough syrup or downing a handful of tablets to get their "dex" hit.

"One of the classic things is they can get it easy enough, it's not illegal, a lot of people have it in their medicine cabinets," says Bruce Ballon, a psychiatrist who specializes in youth substance abuse at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. ''It's not like you have to get alcohol underage or get cannabis, you can just go off and buy cough syrup."

But the dangers of taking many times the recommended adult dosage of these decongestants and antihistamines must not be sneezed at, doctors say.

"Taking any medication in a different way than it's meant to be taken means that you're putting yourself at risk for all kinds of complications," says Dr. Karen Leslie, a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.

While the goal may be achieving the euphoria, dream-like state and mind-body dissociation reportedly caused by DXM -- robotripping refers not just to the brand name, but also to a robot-like sensation -- it comes at a price. Adverse short-term effects can range from nausea and vomiting to body itching, fever and loss of balance to an irregular heartbeat and hallucinations. Over time, DXM abuse may lead to liver or brain damage.

And ingested at megadoses, the drugs are a prescription for really serious trouble: seizures, psychosis, coma -- even death.

There has been a rash of deaths among U.S. teens who overdosed on DXM products in the last few years. Statistics on overdoses and deaths are not available for Canada.
Your purchase of True Stories of Ecstasy & Ketamine will help me make my next film, which will include a story and information on DXM.

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