Abuse of Common Cough Medicine is sending Teenagers to Oakville Hospital

The effects can be compared to effects of Ketamine or Phencyclidine (PCP)

Plastic cup of red liquid
Abuse of Common Cough Medicine is sending Teenagers to Oakville Hospital

About the Author

Chantal Corner

Chantal Corner

Sergeant Chantal Corner is the Media Relations Officer for the Halton Regional Police Department. She grew up in Oakville and graduated from Loyola. She still resides in Oakville.

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The Halton Regional Police Service is warning parents and youth regarding the illicit use of cough medicine containing ‘Dextromethorphan.’

The Drug, Gun and Gang Unit has received several calls from local pharmacists and parents regarding this recent trend. Dextromethorphan is the active ingredient in several over the counter cough medicines such as; KOFFEX, ROBITUSSIN, & ZICAM COUGH SPRAY.

The illicit use of Dextromethorphan causes a high or a so called ‘robo-trip.’ The effects can be compared to effects of Ketamine or Phencyclidine (PCP). Large doses or overdoses can lead to the following symptoms:

  1. Breathing problems — slow and labored breathing, shallow breathing, no breathing
  2. Bluish-colored fingernails and lips
  3. Blurred vision
  4. Coma
  5. Convulsions (seizures)
  6. Drowsiness
  7. Dizziness
  8. Hallucinations
  9. Vomiting

Dextromethorphan is not listed in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and is therefore an over the counter medicine. Several pharmacies in Halton have noticed youths coming into to buy cough medicines containing Dextromethorphan, some pharmacists have placed them behind the counter. Although Dextromethorphan is not a controlled substance, the recreationally use and possible overdose could lead to other criminal charges such as; administering a noxious substance or criminal negligence.

The Halton Regional Police Service would encourage parents to discuss the dangers of Dextromethorphan and urge pharmacies to place all cough medicines containing Dextromethorphan behind the counter.

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. Kaitlin Nesbitt says:

    This is Scary! I know that most Liquid cough and cold medicine tastes good. Because the cough medicine is flavored that makes it easier to take and possibly cause an overdose.

     Reply



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