Kids On Dex

If you’re from the UK you’ve probably experienced the powerful drugs in over-the-counter cough medicines like codeine. In the US abuse of cough medicine hasn’t been quite the same, but nevertheless it looks like the government will make these drugs prescription only, as reported by CNN:

Last year, more than 8,000 people, mostly teens, were treated at emergency rooms because they abused over-the-counter cough suppressants, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Now in an effort to control these substances, the FDA is considering whether to make medicines like Nyquil, Robitussin and Tylenol Cold tablets, prescription drugs.

An FDA advisory committee, which is meeting today in College Park, Maryland will review data, provided to them by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA, which asked for the hearing back in 2007, says it saw a 70 percent increase in emergency room visits between 2004 and 2008, because of teens using large amounts of cough syrup to get high.

The ingredient in these medicines that creates the euphoria is dextromethorphan, also known as “dex” or DXM. It’s found in many products at drug stores. Kids who abuse these suppressants, many times mix them with prescription drugs or marijuana, according to experts. The practice has a few names including “robotripping”. The combination can cause a spike in heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature, and if a child consumes enough of it, it can be deadly…

[continues at CNN]

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  • Haystack

    Sure, why not? It’s not too much trouble for a cold-sufferer to schedule a doctor’s appointment, wait a week, and shell out a $50 co-pay to get a prescription for NyQuil. And kids will be a lot safer getting high off of whatever exotic substances their local dealer has cooking in his basement laboratory than they would be buying from a drug store, where everything is clearly labeled and professionally manufactured at a controlled dosages.

    We should substitute government regulation for parenting more often.

    • Butter Knife

      I wonder if the brain trusts behind idiotic drug policies like this one are actually oblivious of the real effect they have: people who want to use mind-altering substances will do so, and if you make it too difficult to obtain one, they will simply find another.

      Kids aren’t chugging NyQuil because it’s cheap or effective or safe, they’re chugging it because all of the drugs that would be cheap and effective and safe have been made expensive and illegal and dangerous. Legalization and regulation is the safest, cheapest and most effective way to positively impact the harm caused to society by drug abuse.

      That said, I find it HILARIOUS that the people who are most adamantly in favor of prohibition, at least here in America, also claim to espouse hardcore libertarian capitalist economics. It’s like they don’t even think about what they’re saying.

      • Haystack

        “Kids aren’t chugging NyQuil because it’s cheap or effective or safe, they’re chugging it because all of the drugs that would be cheap and effective and safe have been made expensive and illegal and dangerous.”

        I regularly use NyQuil to sleep because all of the effective insomnia medications are by prescription only. If I could get ambien or something over the counter, I wouldn’t be unhealthily ingesting so much aspirin. If they take NyQuil away, I guess I’ll just be really, really cranky all the time. *g*

  • Haystack

    Sure, why not? It’s not too much trouble for a cold-sufferer to schedule a doctor’s appointment, wait a week, and shell out a $50 co-pay to get a prescription for NyQuil. And kids will be a lot safer getting high off of whatever exotic substances their local dealer has cooking in his basement laboratory than they would be buying from a drug store, where everything is clearly labeled and professionally manufactured at a controlled dosages.

    We should substitute government regulation for parenting more often.

  • Butter Knife

    I wonder if the brain trusts behind idiotic drug policies like this one are actually oblivious of the real effect they have: people who want to use mind-altering substances will do so, and if you make it too difficult to obtain one, they will simply find another.

    Kids aren’t chugging NyQuil because it’s cheap or effective or safe, they’re chugging it because all of the drugs that would be cheap and effective and safe have been made expensive and illegal and dangerous. Legalization and regulation is the safest, cheapest and most effective way to positively impact the harm caused to society by drug abuse.

    That said, I find it HILARIOUS that the people who are most adamantly in favor of prohibition, at least here in America, also claim to espouse hardcore libertarian capitalist economics. It’s like they don’t even think about what they’re saying.

  • Haystack

    “Kids aren’t chugging NyQuil because it’s cheap or effective or safe, they’re chugging it because all of the drugs that would be cheap and effective and safe have been made expensive and illegal and dangerous.”

    I regularly use NyQuil to sleep because all of the effective insomnia medications are by prescription only. If I could get ambien or something over the counter, I wouldn’t be unhealthily ingesting so much aspirin. If they take NyQuil away, I guess I’ll just be really, really cranky all the time. *g*

  • johnnyappleseed

    In the same sense as pot, dex is not really a lethal drug; it would take an absolutely ludicrous, impossible amount of dex or THC to overdose, such that it will never happen. The problem, though, is that some cough syrups containing dex have other chemicals that ARE harmful or even lethal at levels one would ingest to experience upper-plateau robotrips. It’s up to the tripper to have a big enough brain to research her dex sources and make sure she isn’t ingesting anything that could do damage.

    If we are going to talk about moral culpability when things go bad, I would say that in the vast majority of cases it rests solely with the tripper. This can easily be avoided in 99% of cases.

  • johnnyappleseed

    In the same sense as pot, dex is not really a lethal drug; it would take an absolutely ludicrous, impossible amount of dex or THC to overdose, such that it will never happen. The problem, though, is that some cough syrups containing dex have other chemicals that ARE harmful or even lethal at levels one would ingest to experience upper-plateau robotrips. It’s up to the tripper to have a big enough brain to research her dex sources and make sure she isn’t ingesting anything that could do damage.

    If we are going to talk about moral culpability when things go bad, I would say that in the vast majority of cases it rests solely with the tripper. This can easily be avoided in 99% of cases.

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