How can parents protect their kids from drugs, when the drugs are available for sale at the local pharmacy?
Firstly, I’m going to preface this posting with an apology, I don’t know how to protect my kids from this new threat. I’ve talked about the dangers of drugs until I’ve grown hoarse, and they’ve grown bored, and they are some pretty well educated kids on the dangers and realities of drug abuse. But when the FDA reports that 2.4 million American teens have used dextromethorphan (the active ingredient in a number of cough and cold medication) I’m not to sure how much effect my words can have; I mean surely at least some of those parents had warned their kids about the dangers of drugs too!?!
Dextromethorphan (DXM) when taken in large quantities can cause euphoria, slight hallucinations, slurred speech and uncoordination, and when taken in very large quantities can cause out of body experiences like with ketamine or PCP; and in a new and disturbing trend, street dealers have started selling pure DXM in capsule form.
A quick browse on the web should be enough to scare parents, and all the information needed on how to use DXM, how to extract it, which brands to buy, the dosage by body weight…everything is there. If only kids worked as hard in biology as they do at self pharmacology!
The FDA reports that at least 5 kids have died from overdose, it can cause brain damage, seizures and heart arrhythmia, and the really scary part is that nobody really knows what the long term consequences of this drug will be. Kids are taking it and they’re taking a lot of it, and it’s probably going to do them a lot of harm. Common parental guidelines suggest watching the medicine cabinet, and watching for intoxicated behavior, but how much does this really do? The amount needed to get high is more than most people stock in their medicine cabinet, and kids are pretty good about hiding things when they want to?
I guess it just comes down to being involved in your kid’s lives, to watching for the warning signs, being ready to help, and hoping for the best. Good luck to parents everywhere, and this is just one more thing to add to that long list of worries.