Cough Syrup – The Other Teen Drug Abuse
Parents are concerned when their teen is experimenting with marijuana (and they should be), especially today when studies have shown it is more potent and can be addictive, however there is another drug that most parents have in their medicine cabinets that teens are getting high with.
Dextromethorphan (DXM) is a safe & effective ingredient found in many over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines, but approximately one in 30 teens reports abusing excessive amounts of DXM to get high.
Is your teen Robo-tripping?
“Robo tripping” is one of several colloquialisms used to describe getting high from – of all things – cough medicine. Get it? “Robo” or Robitussin. The high comes from ingesting large doses of dextromethorphan, found in over-the-counter cough suppressants such as syrups and lozenges.
Warning signs of OTC cough medicine or other drugs:
- Empty cough medicine boxes or bottles in the trash of your child’s room or in your child’s backpack or school locker;
- Purchase or use of large amounts of cough medicine when not ill;
- Missing boxes or bottles of medicine from home medicine cabinets;
- Hearing your child use certain slang terms for DXM abuse, such as skittles, skittling, tussin, robo-tripping, robo, CCC, triple Cs, dexing, and DXM;
- Visiting pro-drug websites that provide information on how to abuse DXM;
- Internet orders, the arrival of unexpected packages, or unexplained payments by credit card or PayPal account;
- Changes in friends, physical appearance, or sleeping or eating patterns;
- Declining grades;
- Loss of interest in hobbies or favorite activities;
- Hostile and uncooperative attitude;
- Unexplained disappearance of household money; and
- Unusual chemical or medicinal smells on your child or in his or her room.
Resources courtesy of StopMedicineAbuse.org.
If you suspect your teen is abusing substances, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. If you have an emergency, call 911.