Robo Tripping and Over-the-Counter Drug Abuse Among Children
Over-the-counter cough and cold medications have become popular among American teens and tweens who aren’t necessarily taking these drugs because they are sick. More than 125 cough and cold medications contain dextromethorphan (DXM), a synthetic drug that produces a hallucinogenic high when consumed in large amounts. This abuse of over-the-counter cough and cold medications, known as Robo tripping, is a growing and potentially life-threatening trend among kids ranging in age from as young as nine to 17. In fact, nearly 10 percent of American teens have admitted to getting high on medications containing DXM (also referred to as Robo, Skittles, Dex and Tussin).
While these medications are legal, readily available for over-the-counter purchase and inexpensive, consuming large amounts of DXM can lead to a variety of serious and very dangerous side effects that can impact one’s short- and long-term health, ranging from hallucinations to loss of motor control, and even death. As the front-line physicians responsible for treating patients in the ICU who’ve overdosed on these medications, the ASA has developed information to help parents recognize the signs of Robo tripping, and to prevent overdose and longer-term health complications.
FAQ: Robo Tripping and Over-the-Counter Drug Abuse