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But did you know that over-the-counter medications can be misused and abused? Cough syrup is completely safe and useful when used as intended.


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What happens if you drink too much cough syrup?

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Dextromethorphan, also called DXMis the active ingredient in many cough and cold medicines. When used as directed, the drug is safe and effective. But taking it in large doses can cause psychedelic effects similar to those of ecstasy. Being high on DXM is known as robotripping. A robotrip can cause a host of physical and psychological effects, including muscle twitches, dizziness and hallucinations.

These symptoms can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. DXM is a hallucinogen.

Symptoms of robotripping

Many people high on dextromethorphan experience mild euphoria. But taking large amounts of the cough suppressant can lead to intense hallucinations and paranoia.

These effects can cause violent behaviors that may result in assault or suicide. The more dextromethorphan you take, the more severe your symptoms will be.

Physical effects

Robotripping comprises four stages called plateaus. Higher plateaus occur at certain points as the dose of dextromethorphan increases. Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal. In extreme cases, robotripping can result in toxic psychosis. This psychotic symptom is characterized by confusion and losing contact with reality. Individuals experiencing substance-induced psychosis have trouble rpecognizing their environment and communicating with others. But they can linger for much longer if DXM is used with other drugs.

Some people experience more intense robotrips than others. When a person consumes too much dextromethorphan, an overdose can occur. The effects of a DXM overdose are more severe than those of robotripping. Whereas people high on DXM typically experience euphoria, individuals who overdose suffer from life-threatening symptoms.

According to the U. DXM overdose can result in death. If someone you know has overdosed on dextromethorphan, immediately seek medical assistance. It is best to call In addition, the national Poison Help hotline can provide instructions on how to assist a person experiencing a DXM overdose. Dextromethorphan is not regulated by the Controlled Substances Act, which means it is legal in the United States.

Many adolescents abuse products containing DXM to experience hallucinations. According to the Monitoring the Future surveyabout 3. Teens purchase medicines containing dextromethorphan from friends or over the internet. Others steal DXM products from stores. Some students use dextromethorphan throughout the day to maintain a consistent high. But the hallucinations and delusions of robotripping can require medical attention.

Long-term misuse of DXM can cause learning problems, memory impairment and possibly addiction.

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To prevent your children from misusing DXM, talk to them about the dangers of the drug. You should also monitor their internet activity and secure your medicine cabinet.

Most people do not become addicted to dextromethorphan. However, robotripping remains unsafe. Regular DXM use can cause individuals to develop a severe substance use disorder. If someone has overdosed on DXM, he or she needs to be transported to a hospital. Treatment for a dextromethorphan overdose may include breathing support, medications that block the effects of the drug, laxatives, activated charcoal and intravenous fluids. Hospital staff may employ aggressive cooling techniques to treat dangerously high body temperature or administer benzodiazepines to control seizures.

Patients who have respiratory depression or are in a coma could receive naloxone, a narcotic overdose medication. Professional treatment can reduce DXM abuse. People who are addicted to DXM or abusing the medication should receive a full psychiatric evaluation. Antipsychotic or antidepressant medications may be needed to alleviate mental health problems.

The most effective way to address a substance use disorder is to attend a rehab facility. According to the National Institute on Drug Abusecognitive behavioral therapy can assist people in changing their thoughts and behaviors toward dextromethorphan. Contingency management, a reward-based program, can also help people overcome cough medicine abuse issues.

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Dextromethorphan and other active ingredients

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About Us. Robotripping Robotripping is slang for getting high on dextromethorphan, an ingredient common in many cough medicines. Taking too much DXM can lead to a host of side effects, including hallucinations, disorientation and a sense of flying. Symptoms of Robotripping DXM is a hallucinogen. Symptoms of robotripping include:.

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Agitation Hallucinations Delusions Dissociation Vivid nightmares Impaired cognitive and perceptual functioning Violent behaviors. Plateau 1 Plateau 2 Plateau 3 Plateau 4. Plateau 1 Total DXM dose: to milligrams 35 to 60 milliliters of syrup Four to six capsules Symptoms: Euphoria and restlessness. Plateau 2 Total DXM dose: to milligrams 60 to milliliters of syrup Seven to 18 capsules Symptoms: Auditory and visual hallucinations and imbalance.

Plateau 3 Total DXM dose: to 1, milligrams to milliliters of syrup 18 to 33 capsules Symptoms: Intense hallucinations, altered consciousness, partial dissociation, panic and mania. Plateau 4 Total DXM dose: More than 1, milligrams More than milliliters of syrup More than 33 capsules Symptoms: Delusions, hallucinations, full dissociation and a loss of control over body movements.

High or low blood pressure Blurred vision Rapid heartbeat Bluish lips and fingernails Slowed breathing Nausea and vomiting Elevated body temperature Seizures Coma. Matt Gonzales. Matt Gonzales is a writer and researcher for DrugRehab. He graduated with a degree in journalism from East Carolina University and began his professional writing career in Matt covers the latest drug trends and shares inspirational stories of people who have overcome addiction.

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Dextromethorphan DXM is a common ingredient found in many cough and cold remedies.


Robitussin cough syrup sold over-the-counter contains two drugs: dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant and guaifenesin, an exectorant.


But taking too much of them -- on purpose or by accident -- can make you feel high.


With over a decade of editing experience, Tom is a content specialist for Advanced Recovery Systems,