Cough medicines containing dextromethorphan will continue to be sold over-the-counter, despite concerns that some young people are using it to get high. A panel of Food and Drug Administration experts has voted against a proposal that would require a doctor’s prescription to buy Robitussin and 140 other cough medicines. Medical News Today reports some panel members were concerned the move would create too much paperwork for pharmacists and clinics.
When taken in high doses, cough medicines can cause euphoria and hallucinations. Teens abuse it because it’s cheap and easy to get. But sometimes the trip goes bad, with nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat and numbness. How big is the abuse problem?
- Three million people between the ages of 12 and 25 used cough medicines to get high in 2006, according to SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
- 8,000 people were treated in hospitals across the country for cough medicine abuse in 2008. That’s a 70% increase over 2004, according to NIH, the National Institutes of Health.
- One in 11 teens admits to robotripping, according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America.