While you might think of drugs like meth or cocaine when you think of drug addiction, even over-the-counter (OTC) drugs like cough syrups are abused to get high. Cough syrups or OTC medications that contain the ingredient dextromethorphan (DXM) are often taken recreationally in higher-than-recommended doses to induce a sedative high. Otherwise known as robotripping, this is a common form of drug abuse, especially among teens and young adults. Today we’re exploring robotrip effects and the risks.
Dextromethorphan (DXM) is a medication that’s used in many over-the-counter cold and cough medicines as a cough suppressant. DXM is often sold in syrups, tablets, sprays, and lozenge forms, and various common medicines like Vicks, Delsym, Robitussin, and Mucinex contain DXM. Many make the mistake of believing OTC drugs are entirely safe because they don’t require a prescription, but obviously, this isn’t true.
Also known as dexing or skittling, robotripping refers to the abuse of DXM to get high or experience a range of physical and physiological side effects. While DXM is readily available in various over-the-counter medications, it also comes with risks. A robotrip dosage would be much higher than the recommended dosages to get high off DXM, which can lead to various adverse effects.
What’s more, a lot of DXM-containing medicines also contain other active ingredients that can also be harmful in high doses. In other words, people are overdosing on OTC drugs like Robitussin on purpose to get high. What could go wrong?
The severity and longevity of a robotrip highly depend on the dosage taken. Robotripping symptoms can vary depending on how much of a particular drug you take. DXM also causes different stages of intoxication (plateaus) that vary with dosage, as well.
Generally speaking, a robotrip leads to heavy sedation and drowsiness, making movement, thinking, speech, and concentration difficult. This form of intoxication comes in stages known as plateaus. Below are the different plateaus of a DXM high.
Other common robotripping side effects include:
So how long does a robotrip last? While the effects of robotripping kick in around 30 to 60 minutes after use, the peak after about 2 to 4 hours and can last up to 6 hours or so. Dosage, body size, how much food is in your stomach, and other active ingredients in the medicine taken can influence the duration and intensity of robotripping effects.
In addition to the adverse side effects mentioned above, other risks of robotripping or DXM abuse include heart stroke, overdose and toxicity, respiratory depression, risky behavior, and liver damage, each of which can lead to fatal consequences. Additionally, while DXM isn’t addictive in the same way that cocaine and heroin are, one can become dependent on DXM to feel “good” or function.
Once the body has become dependent on a particular drug, it can be difficult to quit without the assistance of medically monitored detox. Medical assistance during addiction recovery is also crucial in managing withdrawal symptoms as well as the person’s overall safety and health.
With that said, if you or someone you know is abusing DXM or other drugs, don’t wait to hit rock bottom to get help. Long-term drug abuse can lead to various physical, psychological, and relational consequences that aren’t always reversible.Our Stuart, Florida treatment center offers various substance-specific detox and addiction programs to help patients get sober. Treatment is performed on various levels of care, such as intensive inpatient and residential care, depending on the patient’s disorder and needs. No matter what type of drug addiction you’re going through, our specialists can help.