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Curbing Cough Medicine Abuse Target of Calif. Law

Thursday, December 29, 2011

San Francisco Chronicle

Starting Sunday, California will become the first state to try to curb the abuse of over-the-counter cold medicines containing a powerful cough suppressant by requiring consumers to show proof they’re over age 18.

The ingredient is dextromethorphan, or DXM, and it’s found in popular medications such as Robitussin-DM, Mucinex-DM, Delsym, Coricidin and NyQuil.

Some teenagers, and even younger kids, down the drug in excessive quantities to get a euphoric high, an act known as “robotripping,” “skittling” or “dexing.” The drug is sometimes referred to as “poor man’s PCP” for its hallucinogenic effects.

“By limiting the sale to minors, we hope to reduce the number of cases where there’s misuse or abuse of over-the-counter cough medications containing DXM,” said the bill’s author, state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto. “This is really nasty stuff with very serious consequences.”

View the full story (San Francisco Chronicle)