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How to Help a Dextromethorphan Addict

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“DXM abuse is becoming especially prevalent among teens seeking a cheap high from a substance that is easy to access.”

DXM is often abused for the euphoric effects that it can elicit when taken in larger-than-recommended doses. Because dextromethorphan is found in cough syrup and other cold and cough medicine formulations, it can frequently be found on the shelves of neighborhood convenience stores and drugstores. As a result of this wide availability, DXM can be obtained by anyone – heightening its potential for abuse and addiction. Like other abused substances, recovery from any type or level of abuse or addiction is possible.

Help for Addicts

Addiction to dextromethorphan has been a problem since the early 1950’s, but health officials are still learning to acknowledge and understand how to address and treat DXM addiction. As an over-the-counter preparation, some might be quick to dismiss the likelihood of a serious drug dependency forming, but the problem exists.

Finding the Right Treatment Provider

Over the years, especially in the past decade, there are more comprehensive treatments available for this particular addiction, but it helps for the addict and those trying to help them to be aware that some health professionals out there may be oblivious to the challenge an abuser faces.

Ideally, the addiction recovery program you choose will have a background in helping DXM abusers.

Is Dextromethorphan Addictive?

When taken in doses above those intended, dextromethorphan can:

  • Produce drunk feelings/euphoria.
  • Cause the user to hallucinate.
  • Result in an out-of-body feeling.

The effects of dextromethorphan above can range from mild to extreme, with the dissociative, out-of-body feeling similar to that of PCP or Ketamine (“Special K”) when the dose is high enough. Those seeking the kind of high that DXM produces may take it large amounts and over time may over time become addicted to the substance.

Further, when someone mixes DXM with other drugs like alcohol, that person increases the likelihood of developing an addiction.

What are the Signs of Addiction?

Abusers of dextromethorphan show a variety of recognizable signs and symptoms that make it easy to decipher whether they have a serious problem or not. Here are some signs that DXM abusers commonly exhibit, as well as symptoms they may experience:

  • Appearance of being drunk.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Lack of coordination.
  • Decreasing ability to focus.
  • Shifting moods.
  • Deterioration of personal connections with friends, family, and others.

  • Secretive behavior.
  • Lack of care for personal appearance.
  • Change in habits.
  • Frequent lying to friends and family.

Am I Addicted?

Woman with neck painsYou may be addicted to dextromethorphan if you are taking doses above the recommended medical use as seen on the label of the packaging on a regular basis in order to achieve a high. When someone develops an addiction, relationships and lifestyle seem to go downhill. This can encourage more use of the drug as a way to deal with emotional problems, also known as self-medication.

If your use of DXM is impacting your life negatively, you may be suffering from addiction.

Do not despair, however. There are plenty of facilities and medical professionals who can help DXM addicts recover.

Addiction Treatment

Recovery for dextromethorphan abuse can come in a variety of forms. You may wish to look into one or more of the following:

Other resources, such as:

  • 12-step programs.
  • Sponsors.
  • Sober living facilities.

Call Our Hotline Today

To find treatment that is specifically aimed toward helping you recover from DXM addiction, call our helpline at .

Speak confidentially with a treatment support representative – someone who is an expert at helping individuals suffering from an array of addictions find the treatment that works best for them. Help is out there for those who need it as long as they are willing to take the steps needed to get help.

 How to Help Someone with Alcohol or Illicit Drug Addiction

Help for Prescription Drug Abuse

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Patrick Condron, M.Sc., M.A.C., is an addiction specialist and drug and alcohol counselor. He is Executive Director of Lazarus House, Inc., a transitional residential program for men and women who continue to work on their recovery towards independent living.
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