Citation: RileyDog. "True Dangers of Addiction and Overdose: An Experience with DXM (exp108677)". Erowid.org. Jun 22, 2016. erowid.org/exp/108677
I first took cough medicine to get high at age 18. I was having a really rough day and had a few dollars so I spent them on some daytime cold/flu relief gel caps from the dollar store. I took four and about three hours later felt a numb and sedated yet hardly euphoric state.
I didn't really start abusing DXM until I turned 19: about 7 months after the first time taking it recreationally. At this time, I took the gel caps I bought at the dollar store everyday probably 5-8 of them daily. In addition to this I smoked marijuana which would produce extremely more potent highs than I had ever experienced. On one occasion I remember smoking synthetic marijuana or Spice while high on DXM and having a physiologically scaring bad trip. After that I stopped smoking spice and continued using DXM everyday.
I felt drunk but hyper on DXM. I had insane mania that could keep me up all night and day. I felt goofy, I felt psychotic too. I had serious dissociations on DXM such as while at work I felt like I was actually a rabbit in my rabbit hole poking my head out and talking to customers. I remember not ever really being mentally there, always being far gone in my dissociations and illusions.
I remember not ever really being mentally there, always being far gone in my dissociations and illusions.
At this time in my town there was a huge news scandal that brought national attention and news reporters to the streets. I remember seeing news cameras and flipping them off as I walked by but I was so out of it mentally I had no idea why any of them were there even though the scandal was all anyone was talking about, THAT is how dissociated I was at this time. I hated my life, I hated my job, I hated everything, but DXM and weed were my escape and joy.
My life was deteriorating around me and I chose to sign myself into an eating disorder clinic because I also was living with a serious case of bulimia and wanted recovery from that hell. I remember taking the last of my gel caps the morning my parents drove me to the hospital and then being clean from all drugs for several months after I went into recovery. A few months later my life started shaping up again, I had a plan, my eating habits were somewhat normal, I hadn't used DXM since before I left for recovery, and I occasionally smoked marijuana and had a spiritual enlightenment.
Fast forward half a year later: I relapsed on my eating disorder, hard. Fast forward a few months after that: I started taking DXM again. At first I took the DXM to seem normal around my boyfriend. I met a guy, he was great, but love and sex for the first time seemed to bring all my demons to the surface again. I used the DXM to hide from those demons and feel normal and happy around him, around my family, around myself. Before I knew it I was taking it everyday again, increasing my amount over a period of months. I remember I liked the way it stopped my appetite so I couldn't binge anymore. The symptoms of my bulimia were fading only to be replaced by a new and dangerous addiction. It was around this time I found [brand name] and began taking it and tripping out for days because it was so strong. I am still thoroughly convinced [brand name] was created and is sold for people to abuse because it has such a high amount of DXM and better tasting flavor than normal cold medicine as well as 'long lasting' formula.
I drank this stuff like milk, everyday. In the beginning I took a third or half of a 3oz bottle a day but eventually started chugging an entire 3oz bottle a day every morning. I experienced extremely far off mind states I can only describe as 'going into the light', paranoid delusions of people out to murder me (which I vocalised to my friends who looked at me very concerned as they didn't know about the drug abuse), no appetite, inability to sleep, inability to urinate or move my bowels (sometimes for days), overall mania and hyperactivity, general psychosis, and loss of touch with reality. After an entire winter and spring of daily abuse, abuse to the point I was chugging a 5oz bottle everyday before work, my body began to shut down. One day after a long manic episode of no sleep/no food for days straight I took 2 5oz bottles of grape [brand name] before work around 10am, by 12:30 I was buzzing, I couldn't feel my legs, I kept thinking 'Wow! I'm an angel! Wow, I'm an angel!'
Then I used the restroom and tried to urinate but saw that instead I was bleeding from my bowels. This, even as far gone as I was mentally, I knew was a very bad sign. I looked at my self in the mirror, I'll never forget how it felt to see my reflection when I was dissociating, it was scary to me. I knew something was wrong, my mind couldn't work properly, I told my boss I had to lie down. When I lay down on the cot in the back my vision was static. I could only see a small tunnel of light through the darkness that was taking over my vision. The only way I can describe the feeling of my body and mind was 'fried'. My mind seemed to be vibrating and shaking as the darkness took over. I looked at what I could still see of the ceiling and desperately wanted to fall asleep because I was so endlessly tired. This was strange because DXM gave me mania and hyperactivity. What was happening at this time I later came to believe was my organs and nervous system shutting down which I read is an effect of long-term DXM abuse and overdose. I knew if I gave in to the darkness in my vision, I would die.
I think at this point as dissociated as I was survival mode and adrenaline kicked in as I walked outside and called an ambulance. I don't remember the hospital much in the beginning because I was still so out of it but after they pumped my stomach and put a saline solution in my bloodstream I started coming back into reality. I remember the doctor was condescending, he asked me why I abused DXM, I looked at him and said 'because it makes me feel like an angel'. His reaction was pretty scared looking because of the irony of the situation I was in. I stopped taking DXM after that day. I told myself I would never take it again, until I did.
I told myself I would never take it again, until I did.
I started abusing it again after my boyfriend and I broke up a few months after my overdose. This was in September 2013. I didn't take it as much as before but I still abused it.
My last day ever taking DXM was February 14th, 2014. I don't really know why I stopped the use then, maybe because I had turned 21 and switched to gin. Its been over two years since the last time I took DXM and I have since refused to take it even when I am truly sick with a cold or flu. I rarely drink alcohol now (maybe 2-3 drinks a year). I have began a whole foods and mostly raw food diet to heal the damage the drug abuse did to my body, especially liver. It's easy to want to forget about this addiction and just move on with my life but the truth is I was an addict and severely damaged my body. I still have my sharp mind and I am getting my health back with nutrition, mediation, and self love. Turns out I was sexually abused as a small child for years and repressed all the memories. As I slowly worked through recovered the memories I found the root of my bulimia, addiction, and hatred of my body. It also explains why the worst abuse and addiction of DXM came after I started having a sexual relationship for the first time: I was sexually dysfunctional and wanted to feel normal so I turned to drugs to make it easier to have a 'normal' sex life. That is the problem I have with the mental health system, it strives to eliminate the symptoms and put the client on prescription medicine without really getting to the root caused traumas.
The thing about DXM is there's not a lot of research on it or any I have found on how it gets people high. What I think is it suppresses the nervous system to suppress the nerve reaction of coughing, which is fine in the small recommended dosages but very harmful in recreational doses. Plus all the other painkillers and chemicals found in over the counter cold medicine. All of this together= not something you ever want to pour into your body on a daily basis unless you have a death wish (especially if your organs are already damaged from years of an eating disorder as mine were).
Anyway, thank you for reading this, recovery and total healing are completely possible with faith, love, and determination. For me its been a long road full of many days where I didn't know how I'd function without my drugs, without my crutch. But I found a way to function and I found hope in my music and paintings. I found hope in helping my beautiful friends through their own hardships. I didn't die, I am only 23 and I have the best of my life ahead of me. All my love, -R.
[Reported Dose: '200-1776mg']
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