Can You Get High Off of Vicks VapoRub? | Banyan Treatment Pompano

Can You Get High Off of Vicks VapoRub?

Can You Get High Off of Vicks VapoRub?
 

From moisturizing dry heels to cough suppression, Vicks VapoRub® is a multipurpose tool that has existed since before any of us can remember.

But while Vicks is intended to treat coughs and mild pain, people who are scraping the bottom of the barrel to get high are using it as a drug. But can you get high off of Vicks VapoRub? What happens if you do?


What Is Vicks VapoRub?

Vicks VapoRub is a topical ointment that’s one of the Vicks brand over-the-counter medications owned by the company Procter & Gamble. Vicks VapoRub usually comes in the form of a petroleum-jelly-like consistency that’s meant to be rubbed into the chest and throat to alleviate coughing or into the muscles and joints to alleviate minor aches and pains.

In addition to pain relief and cough suppression, some other uses for Vicks VapoRub include:

  • Treating cracked feet and athlete’s foot
  • Managing stretch marks
  • Treating acne and eczema
  • Training pets
  • Insect repellent
  • Fading bruises
  • Treating minor cuts and burns
  • Managing headaches
  • Treating itchy skin
  • Treating sunburn

Like Icy Hot® and other topical, over-the-counter pain treatments, Vicks VapoRub produces a tingling sensation on the skin that can make it feel warm one second and cool in another. This medication also comes in the form of a stick (looks like a chapstick) that can be uncapped, placed in the nose, and sniffed to alleviate nasal congestion.


Can Vicks Make You High?

So, the burning question is: can you get high off of Vicks VapoRub? Though it is possible to get high off of Vicks products that contain dextromethorphan (DXM) – such as Vicks cough syrups – the problem with VapoRub is not so much about sniffing the topical cream or inhalers but rather placing the cream inside the nose.

Directly sniffing Vicks VapoRub is particularly dangerous because of the ingredient camphor, which is why the directions to properly use this cream are to rub it onto your chest and never directly under your nostrils. Although effective when the cream is used as recommended, camphor can increase mucus secretion, causing a buildup in the windpipe.

While there’s not much research out there on the effects of sniffing Vicks, some possible effects include headache, irritated nose, irritated throat, and eventual lung problems. Vicks VapoInhalers® and VapoRub contain eucalyptus oil and other similar ingredients that produce a stinging sensation, which can irritate the nose and throat if the cream or inhalant are used improperly.

While Vicks VapoRub doesn’t produce a high, it is unclear whether it’s safe to be used long-term. One case study from 2016 described the case of an 85-year old woman who developed a rare case of pneumonia after using Vicks VapoRub for 50 years.1

However, she used VapoRub by placing it directly in her nose, which isn’t a recommended form of use. Those seeking to abuse this OTC medication may attempt to get high from it through this method, which is why it’s important to use it as recommended.


Can You Be Addicted to Vicks VapoRub?

No, you cannot become addicted to Vicks VapoRub. However, no medication should ever be misused. This means that you should only take any over-the-counter medication as recommended.

While addiction cannot occur from using Vicks VapoRub, sniffing, ingesting it, and even putting it in your nose may produce other adverse side effects. It’s important to remember that although OTC drugs are available without prescriptions, they can become harmful if used improperly.

It’s also important to remember to keep any medications out of reach of children. Inhalant abuse, which is the act of sniffing solvents and chemicals to get high, is prevalent among children. Always be on the lookout for any signs that your children are using inhalant drugs, and always be sure to store your medications in a place where they can’t reach them.


Can You Overuse Vicks VapoRub?

You can’t overuse or abuse Vicks VapoRub like you would other drugs of abuse, such as opioids or stimulants. If anything, applying too much rub to the skin could possibly lead to an allergic reaction if you’re allergic to any of its ingredients.

The danger of overuse and toxicity has more to do with camphor being placed in the nose or ears, where it can be absorbed through membranes in the skin. This ingredient is especially toxic to children aged 2 or younger, so it’s important to keep Vicks products away from them.


The Bottom Line

Although Vicks VapoRub doesn’t make you high, there’s no telling what harm sniffing these chemicals can do in the long run. While addiction isn’t a concern of Vicks VapoInhaler abuse and VapoRub misuse, allergic reactions, irritation to the nose and airways, and possible intoxication in children can occur.

Although Vicks VapoRub doesn’t make you high, there’s no telling what harm sniffing these chemicals can do in the long run. While addiction isn’t a concern of Vicks VapoInhaler abuse and VapoRub misuse, allergic reactions, irritation to the nose and airways, and possible intoxication in children can occur.

While we don’t offer Vicks VapoRub treatment, our Pompano rehab center does offer different levels of substance abuse treatment for those battling drug and alcohol addiction. We can help you or a loved one with a substance use disorder physically and mentally recover from drugs and alcohol and teach them practical ways to sustain their sobriety in the long run.


If you’re interested in learning more about over-the-counter drug abuse or the addiction treatment services offered at our Pompano Beach, Florida drug rehab, call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763.


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Alyssa
Alyssa
Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.


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