Written By: Fiona Stockard
Dextromethorphan Abuse Facts and Statistics
Dextromethorphan (DXM) abuse is a growing drug trend among adolescents and young adults. This is due, in no small part, to the availability of products containing DXM. This availability makes it hard to gather dextromethorphan abuse facts and dextromethorphan abuse statistics.
Which facts about dextromethorphan abuse are true? Which DXM abuse statistics matter? Learn accurate dextromethorphan abuse facts and statistics today!
Dextromethorphan Abuse Facts
Find six dextromethorphan abuse facts below:
• DXM is a dissociative hallucinogen. This means it belongs to the same family of drugs as Ketamine and PCP.
• DXM is found in over 120 OTC medications.
• Many of these medications contain other active ingredients, which are harmful in large doses. These ingredients include: acetaminophen, chlorpheniramine maleate, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine hydrochloride.
• The combination of DXM and antidepressants can be deadly. Research shows that DXM mixed with SSRI’s and MAOI’s (the two major types of antidepressants) can result in Serotonin Syndrome.
• There are four stages, or plateaus, which can occur during a DXM high. The first plateau consists of mild stimulation. The second plateau consists of hallucinations. The third plateau is similar to the second, but more intense. The fourth plateau consists of major, out-of-body experiences. These plateaus vary based on how much DXM someone consumes.
• In addition to the four plateaus associated with DXM abuse, there’s something know as plateau stigma. This is when the user has a near-death experience and is generally described as frightening and uncomfortable.
Dextromethorphan Abuse Statistics
Find six dextromethorphan abuse statistics below:
• Nationwide surveys have reported that up to 10% of adolescents engage in DXM abuse.
• Between 1999 and 2004, calls to California poison control centers about DXM abuse rose tenfold.
• Also between 1999 and 2004, calls to poison control centers in California regarding adolescent (ages nine to seventeen) DXM abuse rose fifteen-fold.
• In 2006, respiratory agents sent over 28,000 people to the ER. While these hospitalizations weren’t all due to DXM abuse, it’s safe to say that a large portion were.
• In 2009, 5.9% of high school seniors, 6% of high school sophomores, and over 3% of 8th graders reported engaging in DXM abuse.
• Between 5% and 10% of Caucasians don’t metabolize DXM properly. This leads to Caucasians being at increased risk for DXM overdose and other harmful effects.
What Do These Dextromethorphan Abuse Facts and Statistics Mean For You?
These statistics and facts about dextromethorphan abuse are cause for concern! DXM abuse is increasing and something needs to be done. While it’s impractical to schedule DXM, there should be restrictions placed upon its purchase. Some state governments, notably California, are already monitoring and limiting the sale of DXM.
The above facts about dextromethorphan abuse also show that public awareness of the drug is growing. This is the first step to combating widespread DXM abuse.