Who abuses dextromethorphan and how common is its abuse?
Dextromethorphan abuse is found primarily among teens. According to research conducted by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, one in 10 teenagers (10 percent), or 2.4 million young people, have intentionally abused cough medication to get high. This form of abuse involves taking extreme amounts of cough medicine to get high. It is not possible to accidentally abuse dextromethorphan; it takes vast amounts that are far beyond the recommended dosage. Teens are abusing dextromethorphan by taking excessively large amounts of over-the-counter cough medicine containing dextromethorphan or by ingesting the unfinished, raw form of dextromethorphan by mixing it with alcohol or illegal drugs. On May 20, 2005, FDA released a talk paper regarding the agency’s concerns surrounding the abuse of dextromethorphan (DXM). While the agency emphasized dextromethorphan’s safety and effectiveness when taken properly as a cough suppressant, the warning responds to reported deaths that may be associated w