Menu Close

Build a foundation for lasting recovery

Signs of Dextromethorphan (DXM) Addiction

Dextromethorphan is a chemical compound that is found in over 140 over-the-counter cold and cough medications throughout the United States. This chemical compound is frequently referred to as “the poor man’s PCP” and “DXM,” and is commonly abused by adolescents and young adults because it is easily accessible and can often be found in the medicine cabinets of family members or close friends. When taken as suggested, this medication is generally effective in alleviating symptoms associated with the common cold. However, when consumed in high doses, DXM is known to induce a state of psychosis similar to that induced by PCP. If an individual consumes near or around 1500 mg per day, here she is likely to experience psychological symptoms that include hallucinations, delusions, and severe paranoia. Many mistakenly believe that because this isn’t over the counter medication, it is not dangerous or habit-forming. However, when taken other than as intended and for a longer period than intended, DXM is liable to result in physical and psychological dependence, similar to any other chemical substance.

More About Dextromethorphan (DXM)

Over the past decade, rates of DXM abuse have continued to increase nationwide. It is currently estimated that somewhere around one out of every four teenagers knows someone who has abused an over-the-counter cough medication in an attempt to experience a “high.” There is a wide range of side effects that go hand in hand with taking more than the recommended dose of the except, some of which include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe stomach pain and stomach cramping
  • Confusion and dizziness
  • Blurred vision and slurred speech
  • Dramatically impaired coordination
  • Drowsiness
  • General disorientation
  • Rapid heartbeat and heart palpitations
  • Numbness of the extremities

Signs of Dextromethorphan (DXM) Addiction

Signs of Dextromethorphan Addiction

The symptoms of DXM abuse and addiction are slightly different than the above-mentioned side effects. If you or someone you know has been taking this over the counter medication regularly to produce psychoactive effects, professional help must be sought immediately. As previously mentioned, dextromethorphan addiction is most common among adolescents and young adults. While dextromethorphan abuse and addiction are most common among teenagers and young adults, it is important to note that substance abuse disorders of any kind can affect any demographic. While the signs of addiction might vary based on the age of the individual, they remain somewhat consistent.

Suspect a Loved One Abusing Dextromethorphan

DXM has become a recently popular drug of abuse for young adults in recent years, especially if they are in high school. It was not always that way, but readily available information about dosing and trip experiences on the internet has made dextromethorphan a popular drug to try and possibly get addicted to. If you believe that your child is abusing DXM or any other over-the-counter cough medication, there are several signs and symptoms to look for. These include:

  • Missing cough medicine that was previously stored in home medicine cabinets
  • The insistence that large amounts of cough medication are purchased, even when your child is not feeling under the weather
  • Empty cough medicine packages throughout the household, potentially stashed in your child’s backpack, under the bed, or in household trash cans
  • Empty soda cans or energy drink cans – dextromethorphan is often combined with these beverages to improve the taste
  • A noticeable change in friends
  • A change in physical appearance, typically marked by less attention paid to personal hygiene
  • Noticeable changes in sleeping and eating patterns
  • A loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyed
  • An increased need for privacy
  • Mood swings, typically characterized by hostility, aggression, and anger
  • Declining grades

Evoke Wellness – Comprehensive Clinical Care

At Evoke Wellness, we provide age-specific addiction treatment for men and women who have been suffering at the hands of dextromethorphan addiction (or an addictive disorder involving any other potentially dangerous over-the-counter medication). Our comprehensive program of addiction recovery tackles the root cause of substance abuse, carefully examining all contributing factors while equipping clients with the tools they need to stay sober long-term. For more information on our drug rehab program or more information on dextromethorphan abuse and addiction, please feel free to reach out to us today. We understand that the specific chemical substance is tricky as it is easily accessible and legal. We will gladly provide you with the resources you need to get and stay on the right track.