Cough Medicine Addiction

Every substance out there, legal or illegal, can be abused. Just because something can be sold over the counter without a prescription or asking for ID does not mean that it is safe. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 3.1 million people from ages 12-25 have used cough medication in order to get high. Cough medicine addiction is on the rise because of the euphoric the medication can offer and it is easily available.

Young people tend to get addicted to Dextromethorphan (DXM) which is a cold suppressant that produces a euphoric feeling and dissociative effects or hallucinations in higher than prescribed doses. There is also promethazine-codeine cough syrup which is a cough suppressant that has codeine and produces euphoria and relaxation at high doses. It is consumed orally in capsule, tablet, or syrup form. Many mix these drugs, especially extra strength medication, with soda, alcohol, or marijuana.

You know if you have an addiction to cough medication when you buy cough medicine but you do not have a cough. You tend to visit a variety of drugstores and ones that are distant so that no one suspects the excessive purchases of these drugs. There can be empty bottles of cough medicine around your room or you will steal medication or money from other people. Some medications can cause you to have a slurred speech or become overly chatty. You can be losing interest in doing the activities you would normally do. Some cough medications can give you a rash if you use it in excess.

Cough medications used at high doses can bring deadly results. Effects can either be a mild stimulation or the similar effects of being intoxicated by alcohol or marijuana like physical distortion or hallucinations.

Cough medicine can act as a depressant of the central nervous system, creating a calming effect and increasing the dopamine in the brain’s reward pathway. Side effects can include numbness, nausea, motor function impairment, vomiting, increased heart rate and blood pressure. At high doses, you could experience increased body temperature, extreme agitation, and a buildup of excess acid in body fluids. Combining DXM with decongestants can cause hypoxic brain damage and promethazine-codeine cough syrup abuse can be lead to a fatal overdose. Going to a drug treatment facility will help you break the habit of abusing a drug that was designed to make your health better.


Smarmore Castle Private Clinic in County Louth, near Dublin was founded in 1988 as a residential rehabilitation hospital treating people suffering from drug and alcohol purposes. Smarmore Castle, near Dublin, effectively treats people with prescription drug addiction through a prescription drug rehab plan which includes consultant psychiatric care, detox, medical treatment, addiction therapies and complementary therapies, in line with our 12 Step treatment model. For more information, please call 041-214-5111. For those who live out of the country, the international number is 00353-41-214-5111.

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