Over The Counter Drug Abuse

Triple C's drug abuse is on the rise.

Triple C's
is street lingo for Coricidin. This medication like other cough syrup products can be abused like illicit drugs by taking extremely large doses to get high.

Many teens are choosing DXM and CCC as a drug of choice since it is available without a prescription.     

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, prescription drug abuse by teens exceeds only marijuana use. There are several reasons teens are turning to prescription and over-the-counter drugs. One reason is availability.

Most all of our homes contain prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Students often find it easier and less risky to abuse drugs and share and sell drugs when they are readily available and free in their own homes. Another reason is false perception of the risks involved with prescription drugs. 

Many teens believe that over-the-counter and prescription drugs are a "safe high" and involve less risk and side effects than street drugs. In fact, these drugs can be just as dangerous and addictive and potentially fatal when abused and used in deadly combinations.

Make sure your teen uses prescription drug only as directed by a medical provider and follows instructions for OTC products carefully. Set clear rules for teens about all drug use, including not sharing medicine and always following the medical provider's advice and dosages. Teens should never take prescription or OTC drugs with street drugs or alcohol. If you have any questions about how to take a drug, call your family physician or pharmacist.


The Triple C's, DXM, Skittles, Playful Names For Dangerous Things
Chugging cough medicine for an instant high is dangerous, potentially deadly and on the rise.

Over The Counter Drug Abuse

A number of over-the-counter (OTC) products can potentially be abused by teens looking to get high. But it's important to educate yourself about the potential abuse of consumer products found right in your home.

It is also important to know the facts about (OTC) products and medication abuse and you should  make it a habit to closely monitor the use of certain household substances. Parents should talk with preteens and teens about the proper use of all medications. 


 DXM (dextromethorphan) is a cough suppressor found in more than 120 over-the-counter cold medications, either alone or in combination with other drugs such as analgesics (acetaminophen), antihistamines (chlorpheniraamine) and-or expectorants (guaifenesin).

Much of what is abused is diverted from legitimate use. Abusers can obtain the drugs at almost any pharmacy or supermarket, seeking out the products with the highest concentration of the drug from among all the cough and cold remedies.

DXM is abused in high doses to experience euphoria and visual and auditory hallucinations. Some abusers ingest 250 to 1,500 milligrams in a single dosages, far more than the recommended dosages. Illicit use of DXM is referred to on the street as "Robo-tripping," "skittling" or "dexing."

The most commonly abused, Robitussin (Robo) and Coricidin HBP. DXM abuse has traditionally involved drinking large volumes of the OTC liquid cough preparations. However, recently abuse of tablet and gel capsule has increased.

The newer, high-dose DXM products are much easier to consume; they eliminate the need to drink large volumes of unpleasant- tasting syrup; and they are easily portable and concealed, allowing an abuser to abuse throughout the day, whether at school, home or work.

DXM powder, sold over the internet, is also a source for abuse. The powdered form of DXM poses additional risks to the abuser due to the uncertainty of composition and dose. DXM is also manufactured illegally with only dextromethorphan (DXM) and mixed with other drugs such as Pseudoephedrine and methamphetamine.

Street Names         
CCC, Dex, DXM, Poor Man's PCP, Robo, Rojo, Skittles, Triple C,  Velvet 

Signs and Symptoms of DXM Abuse

  • Slurred speech
  • Hyper-excitability
  • Lethargy
  • Sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Skin irritation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

                          Dangers of DXM Abuse

In addition to the risk of injury or death as a result of accidents, violence, or overdose, DXM can cause or worsen many physical and mental disorders. Negative effects include:

  • Coma
  • Brain damage
  • Liver damage
  • Respiratory distress
  • Heat stroke
  • Death (from arrested breathing)



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