It used to be that parents only had to worry about their kids experimenting with cigarettes or alcohol. The worst thing to think about was if your children were using marijuana. These days, you have to worry about things that children can easily buy and get a hold of.  Street drugs, the hallucination drugs that came out of the 1960s, such as LSD or cocaine are expensive and a little more difficult for adolescents can get their hands on.  Why would they, when they can easily get a high of things they can buy at their local Walgreens?

Adolescents are now experimenting with over the counter cough medicine and taking it when they are not sick to get a high off of it. This is becoming an increasingly more popular way for adolescents to get high. And the addictions can get bad enough to land them in an addiction treatment center.

Young adults are using things like NyQuil, Robitussin and Coricidin, which they can easily pick up at the supermarket because they contain DXM. DXM, also called dextrometorphan is a key ingredient in about 140 cold medicines that can be purchased over the counter.  The effects of DXM can be similar to the effect of taking the drug PCP or Ketamin.  And DXM can be overdosed on as well. It can cause muscle spasms and increased heart rate and even death.

Dual diagnosis can help alleviate the need for DXM and over the counter cold medicine addiction.

It’s just one more thing that parents have to watch out for when it comes to taking care of their children. Since getting high this way is so accessible, it is even more dangerous. Keep a tab on what is in your medicine cabinet and what your kids take from it. That little supervision could go a long way in preventing over the counter drug abuse.

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