Look out, Florida! Your dominance in the "idiotically named drug overdose" headline race is under threat this week, after reports that three teens in tony Marin County have overdosed on a drug known as "Skittles" or "Triple C"...but is basically just cough medicine.
Three students of Mill Valley's Tamalpais High School (the most notable graduate of which is, arguably, Tupac Shakur) ended up at an area hospital last week after ODing on cough and cold medicine, wrote Tam HS principal Julie A. Synyard in a letter sent to parents yesterday.
The kids, Synyard says, made themselves ill on Coricidin, "a commonly abused over-the-counter cough and cold medication containing the active ingredient dextromethorphan or DXM," NBC Bay Area helpfully informs the rest of us fuddy duddies who still do regular drugs like booze and cocaine.
According to the DEA, DXM is a cough suppressor found in more than 120 over the counter cold medications" and "is abused in high doses to experience euphoria and visual and auditory hallucinations."
Abuse of DXM is known as “robotripping,” “skittling,” or “dexing,” the first two terms referring to Robitussin and Coricidin HBP, two top faves of DXM abusers.
At a press conference Tuesday, Marin public health officer Dr. Matt Willis said that the well-heeled county is in the midst of a prescription drug abuse epidemic, with "a drug overdose death in Marin County every two weeks" and a narcotic prescription rate that has doubled in the last decade.
According to Willis, drug overdoses are currently Marin County's #1 cause of death. Most of those overdoses are prescription drugs, Willis said.
Though drugs like Coricidin can be bought without a prescription, the results from an overdose can be just as dire, with side-effects including vomiting, poor motor control, dizziness, impaired judgment and dilated pupils, seizure, coma and death, according to the DEA.
White folks are especially vulnerable to the dangers of DXM, as "approximately 5-10% of Caucasians are poor DXM metabolizers and at increased risk for overdoses and deaths," according to the DEA
"The use of high doses of DXM in combination with alcohol or other drugs is particularly dangerous," the DEA says, and "taken with antidepressants [DXM] can be life threatening."
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