What You Need to Know About Cough Syrup Addiction

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When you think about drug addiction, you likely think about addiction to such substances as cocaine, heroin, meth or prescription painkillers. But there is an over-the-counter drug that can be just as addictive -- cough syrup.

According to an article on Drug Free Homes, cough syrups that contain codeine and DXM (Dextromethorphan) are dangerous. Codeine, an opiate, and DXM, a psychoactive drug, are highly addictive. And since cough syrup is easy and cheap to buy, it is the drug of choice for many addicts.

"DXM can be very dangerous if abused, especially if mixed with other drugs," Mary Rieser, Director of The Atlanta Recovery Center Drug Rehab in Georgia, told TransWorldNews. "If taken frequently, it is addictive, and many of our callers stated that once addicted, they had a hard time walking by the medicine counters in grocery stores, the cravings for it are so great."

Cough syrup has similar effects to those of marijuana -- hallucinations and euphoria. But it has downsides that marijuana does not have, such as depression, dizziness, high blood pressure, impaired judgment, nausea and panic attacks.

Cough syrup can also be deadly -- you could overdose on the syrup alone. It also reacts with other medications, such as, according to Drug Free Homes, "'non-drowsy' antihistamines, SSRI antidepressants and the Yohimbe herb; they can produce a deadly cocktail."

Treatment for cough syrup abuse is similar to alcohol and some drug abuse -- stopping the use of the substance, along with counseling. Depending on the depth of the abuse, there could be withdrawal symptoms.

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