a fateful trip

I've been a little neglectful of the blog again lately... a lot on my mind, a lot going on, a lot, alot.

For some time I've intended to write an entry about "skittles" or "robotripping" or any of the other names for recreational abuse of dextromethorphan, DXM for short.

Dextromethorphan is a common over-the-counter drug. It's in many cold medications, such as some formulations of Coricidin.. The name "skittles" comes from the Coricidin pills, which do resemble the popular candy. Dextromethorphan is the main ingredient in many cough preparations, like Robitussin CoughGels (which are pure DXM). DXM is used by prescription for a number of reasons, but the OTC market for the drug is huge.
In high doses, DXM is hallucinogenic, with similar effects to LSD. (Hence the term robotripping.)

DXM is the drug of choice for a fairly young demographic. It's popular with junior high kids, and increasingly with some older kids. It's used in lieu of harder drugs for a number of reasons; it's easy to get, easy to use, fairly cheap, legal... It has a false veneer of safety because of its OTC status- Our invincible youth figure, how bad can it be? - It's over-the-counter.

Although DXM itself can be harmful in high doses, often a lot more harm is done when kids use mixed products- Cold medicines often contain other ingredients that kids know nothing about.. Kids take these meds for the DXM, but they're getting other dangerous drugs at the same time.

image from Erowid.org

I had intended to write an entry about the recreational use of dextromethorphan, but there is another significant use for this 'cough' medicine. Aside from the accidental deaths, a growing number of suicides and attempted suicides involve cold medicines containing DXM.

Sunday, the son of a long-time family acquaintance consumed a number of packages of pills, in an attempt to end his life. He has been on a ventilator, in a coma, but is beginning to show some improvement. He is breathing (weakly albeit) on his own, but there's no telling what the future holds for him, or how irreparably damaged he may be.

A sad, desperate 25-yr-old. went tripping toward the edge of life this week. I wonder what he saw.

(And what, or who, was it -there on the brink- that pushed him back toward a life harder still (unimaginably so) than the one he tried to leave behind.)

Dextroverse bills itself as a "DXM community" online. I haven't really delved into it, but it looks pretty comprehensive.
Of course, Erowid is the place to go for drug information.

this was going to be an entry full of interesting links and references and facts.. warnings.. but the universe takes unexpected turns, even in small ways. sorry it's not a better, more 'groomed' post.


Blogger Dreaming again said...

how absolutely heart breaking.

Suicide has touched my life more times than I care to remember. The two times that hurt the most was my step father, who was Daddy ... I was 14. (A poem dedicated to him is on my blog on Feb 5, 2005)

The second one that hit hard was a friend, teenager, he was mad at his parents and was going to 'teach them a lesson' ... he had no real intention of following through ...just to scare them. They were supposed to be home at 2, but they came home 30 minutes late. They found him dead instead of unconscience.

I am sorry for your friend ... I will keep him in my thoughs and prayers and hope for a full recovery ... physically ...but especially in his heart ..so that he doesn't ever want to try suicide again.

12:37 PM  

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