Non-medical use of dextromethorphan

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Dextromethorphan (DXM), an active ingredient found in many cough suppressant cold medicines, is commonly used as a recreational drug.[1] While having almost no psychoactive effects at medically-recommended doses, dextromethorphan has euphoric, psychedelic, and dissociative properties when administered in doses well above those which are considered therapeutic medically for cough suppression.[1] Recreational use of DXM is sometimes referred to in slang form as "robo-tripping", whose prefix is derived from the Robitussin brand name of cough medicine, or "Triple Cs" which is derived from the Coricidin brand name of cough & cold medicine (since the pills were printed with CCC on them).

An online essay first published in 1995 entitled "The DXM FAQ" described dextromethorphan's potential for recreational use, and classified its effects into plateaus.[citation needed]

Owing to its recreational use and theft concerns,[citation needed] many retailers in the US have moved dextromethorphan-containing products behind the counter so that one must ask a pharmacist to receive them or be 18 years (19 in NJ and AL, 21 in MS) or older to purchase them. Some retailers also give out printed recommendations about the potential for abuse with the purchase of products containing dextromethorphan.

Contents

Classification

At high doses, dextromethorphan is classified as a dissociative general anesthetic and hallucinogen, similar to the controlled substances ketamine and phencyclidine (PCP).[2] Also like those drugs, dextromethorphan is an NMDA receptor antagonist.[3][4] Dextromethorphan generally does not produce withdrawal symptoms characteristic of physically addictive substances, but there have been cases of psychological addiction.[5][6]

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