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Robo-tripping: More common than you think

A recent study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that dextromethorphan, or DXM, an ingredient commonly found in over-the-counter cold medicines, was attributed to more than 5,000 emergency hospital visits in 2004.

The report shows that of those visits related to nonmedical use, 48 percent involved patients ages 12 to 20.

According to, slang terms for this scary trend include “robo-tripping” and “skittling,” among others. A slew of Web sites and home videos provide instructions and show kids “tripping” on DXM. A powdered, pill form of the drug can be purchased on the street, but is less accessible than versions of the drug sold over the counter.

“It’s been noted kids have had serious side effects such as brain damage, seizures, irregular heart rates and death. It’s not harmless by a long shot,” said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Baltimore City Health Commissioner.

“If people think they are avoiding risk because something is sold over the counter, that’s totally wrong.”

The manufacturer’s suggested amount for medical use is 10 to 20 milligrams every four to six hours. However, a single dose for recreational users can be anywhere from 240 to 1500 miligrams. Those who abuse the drug regularly can ingest up to four bottles per day.

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Tags : DXM dextromethorphan robo
Posted on: 2006-11-22 12:06:34