Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How Desperate Do You Have To Be To Abuse Cough Syrup?

The December 26, 2011 Washington Times reports that:
California also became the first state in the nation to require a prescription for obtaining any drug containing dextromethorphan, an ingredient found in many popular over-the-counter cough suppressants, including Robitussin, NyQuil and Dimetapp.
The law was prompted by a spike in the use of cough syrup as a recreational drug.
How tragically sad do you have to be to abuse cough syrup as a recreational drug?  Okay, I admit that when I was young, I had a girl friend who spent an evening with a mutual acquaintance abusing cough syrup--and by morning, both of them were exhausted, but unable to go to sleep. 


  1. I had a real winner of a head, throat, and chest bug hit me me pretty hard last weekend and last into the work week. My wife picked up some daytime and nighttime liquid cold medicines for me. Of course she also picked up the same bug from me a few days later. Since I had used most of the daytime medicine during the work week, I asked her if she wanted me to pick her up some more when I ran out for some last minute items for our Christmas Eve dinner.

    The medicine was nowhere to be found in the grocery aisle that had all manner of over the counter remedies. I eventually found it on an island rack by the pharmacy, and when I rang it up at the self checkout, it identified as an 18 and over age restricted product. I don't know if that is a legal requirement here in Idaho, or if it is just store policy, but it made it real pain to try to find the medicine I needed to purchase. If I hadn't know that was the store at which my wife made the previous purchase, I would have presumed that they simply stopped carrying it.

    Of course, now that I know it isn't kept where one would expect it, I will be able to find it right away the next time I need it. Hopefully that will be no sooner than a year or so.

    WV: prepic
    to select in advance

  2. I tried to buy some 2% Tincture of Iodine at Walmart... No joy.
    It seems it is used in the manufacture of illicit drugs.

    *shakes head sadly*

  3. My son has a part-time job at a restaurant near the St. Louis zoo. Some of the full-time workers there told him about purple drank. He tells me that's a combination of water, sugar and cough syrup. It makes a sort of poor man's wine, I gather.

    So, yes, there are recreational cough syrup users.

  4. I had read about people drinking a lot of cough syrup with codeine in it waaaaaaay back in the 60's, but I am disappointed about dextromethorphan, which is a good decongestant.
    With people finding all sorts of illicit uses for all sorts of things, it's only a matter of time until someone figures out that a lot of people are abusing coffee for the stimulative properties of the caffeine, and then it's Al Capone all over again.
    Ultimately the libertarian position here has to prevail, or else yes, coffee, tincture of iodine and who knows what else will be controlled substances.

  5. We are, unfortunately, well past the point where social pressure to not abuse drugs can play any significant role in determining usage.

  6. While it's true that social pressure to absolutely avoid mind-altering drugs doesn't really exist any more, there is still a bit of 'class' pressure going on. The people drinking cough syrup are generally those who are in the process of trying everything, or just one step up on the white-trash drug abuse ladder from huffing flyspray.

    Of course, at the other end of things you have law students (and practising lawyers, for that matter) hitting up doctors for AD/HD diagnoses, which with a bit of brownnosing will get you prescribed Adderall- a legal prescription amphetamine. Great for those late night pre-exam sessions!