Raising a teenager is perhaps the most challenging part of being a parent. It is at this time that your child starts to drift away. It is also a time that they begin to understand and discover the world, including the negative side of it. Unfortunately, teenage hood is also when most people start experimenting with drugs.
Today, many options exist for getting high, including household drugs you probably didn’t even know about. So, one way to keep up with your teen and know whether they are using drugs is to familiarize yourself with the common drugs teens use and the slang they use to describe them.
One such term is robotripping. If you’ve had your teen or their friends use this word, here is what it actually means and what you should know about it.
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What is robotripping?
Robo tripping, which may also go by street names like dexing, triple C, or skittling, often refers to dextromethorphan (DXM) abuse to achieve psychological effects. DXM is a type of over-the-counter cough suppressant that is commonly found in cold medication. So, this is something you likely have in your medicine cabinet and within reach for your teen.
Now, you are probably wondering, “How can DXM be harmful if it is legal and used for regular everyday OTC medicine?” But Robotripping is actually abusing cough syrup. That typically means the user consumes more than the recommended doses to get high. This is where it becomes harmful.
Moreover, DXM is not usually the only ingredient in cold medication. They also include other active ingredients, such as antihistamines and decongestants, which may have varying degrees of harmful effects.
Unfortunately, a Drug Abuse Warning Network survey found that more than 50% of emergency room visits for non-medical use of dextromethorphan were for persons between 12-20 years.
How Does DXM Work?
DXM is a synthetic drug that is thought to impact the sigma opioid receptors, which are present in the medullary cough center of the brain. Basically, the area of the brain that controls coughing. When used in high doses, it gives users euphoric and hallucinogenic effects, similar to ketamine and phencyclidine (PCP).
People who abuse DXM experience different plateaus depending on how much they take.
- 1st plateau between 100-200 mg: mild euphoria.
- 2nd plateau between 200-500 mg: audio and visual sensations.
- 3rd plateau: between 500-1000 mg: visual and aural effects like mania, panic attack, delayed reactions, and dissociation are all effects of this high dose.
- 4th plateau over 1000 mg: you may experience intense hallucinations, delusions, detachment from reality, etc.
Side Effects Associated with DXM
Like any other drug, abusing dextromethorphan can lead to a variety of side effects. These include constipation, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sedation, nervousness, and confusion. The higher the dose, the higher the risk of experiencing these side effects, and with greater intensity.
How Can You Know Whether Your Teen is Robotripping?
Knowing whether your child is abusing DXM is the first step to helping them overcome dependency. Luckily, there are signs you can look for. These include:
- Impaired motor coordination
- Inability to focus on studies or concentration requiring tasks
- Sudden mood swings and aggression that were not there before
- Difficulty speaking
- Dilated pupils
- Hallucinations or psychosis
- Loss of interest in hobbies, socializing, or family
- A constant medical smell on their body or clothing
- Missing medicine on the medical cabinets
- Empty cold medicine bottles in their room or the trash
- Poor hygiene
- Increased cases of missing money
Most of these signs can indicate drug use, not DXM specifically. So, you may need a test to confirm your suspicions.
DXM addiction is serious and can present pretty strong withdrawal symptoms if a dependent person suddenly stops using it. Some common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Gastrointestinal distress (vomiting, diarrhea)
- Memory issues
- Panic attacks
- Intense cravings
- Toxic psychosis (in extreme cases)
Learn to Spot Robotripping to Get Your Teen the Help They Need
As a parent, you want the best for your child. And that includes leading them on the right path, away from drugs. However, some drugs are legal and readily available even for children. That is why you want to stay updated and know when to spot the signs. Lastly, if you suspect your child is robotripping, talk to a treatment center to see how you help them overcome their habit and addiction.
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