Citation: Anonymous. "Tussin Can be Bad: An Experience with DXM (ID 1904)". Erowid.org. Jun 19, 2000. erowid.org/exp/1904
I always wanted to know what an acid trip was like, and I heard that you can get the same effects with DM cough syrup, so I went to the drug store and picked up a 4 oz (120 mL) bottle of extra strength DM 'tussin' cough syrup. It was an in-store brand comparable to extra strength Robitussin. The specs on the bottle said:
Ingredients per teaspoonful (5 mL) Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide, USP 15 mg in syrup with Alcohol 1.4%.
These were the only ingredients.
The first time, I was a little nervous, so I only took 120 mg of DM (40 mL or 8 teaspoons or 1/3 of the bottle). Within an hour or two, I started feeling a mild buzz. I was talkative and I seemed to notice colors and lights a little more than usual. These mild effects lasted about 5 hours before I felt like it was totally worn off.
The next day, I got a little bolder. I downed the remaining portion of the bottle. This amounted to 240 mg (80 mL or 16 teaspoons or 2/3 of the bottle). I ate some food both times, so this may have delayed the start of the effects. Perhaps there was a little bit left in my system from the day before.
I was sitting down, doing some reading, and nothing happened for well over an hour or maybe two hours. Then, all of the sudden, I got a severe heat flash. It felt like a sick wave flowing over my entire body. I could even feel a strong buzzing (almost like pain) in the roots of my teeth. Every inch of skin on my body felt like it was next to a hot water bottle. I was very light headed and thought I was going to die. I quickly scribbled information on a piece of paper to tell anyone that found me what I had taken. The heat flash went away after what seemed like 5 or 10 minutes. Actually it was probably only a minute or two. I felt my forehead and it was dripping with sweat.
I was ok for a while after that. I talked with a friend for about 10 or 15 minutes, but it seemed like hours. Again, I was very talkative. I felt like I was making sense, and having an enjoyable time. I just felt spacy. There were no visual hallucinations, but things did look a bit foggy.
After my friend left I got several more heat flashes. They seemed to be getting closer together. Each time, I thought I was going to die or at least pass out. Each time it happened, I just kept telling myself, 'I'm going go get throught this.' over and over. VERY unpleasant!
I walked around a little bit. My head seemed to be bobbing up and down like you feel while sitting in a small boat on the waves. Things were a little distorted. I felt like a midget walking down the hall. I had some difficulty talking coherently. My eyes started to burn, and my mouth became excessively dry. I couldn't concentrate on anything for more than a few seconds. I tried to focus on reality so I wouldn't loose control. I used to use MJ so I was able to keep from panicing, but it is still a scary to face the unknown.
As the frequency of the heat flashes increased, I began to wonder if the DM was still getting into my system, and making things worse. I had serious doubts about whether or not I could get myself home in this condition. I determined that if things got any worse, that I might die, so I picked up a phone book and started looking for emergency numbers. I remember being totally frustrated because I knew I wanted to find a number to call to get help, but all I could do was flip the pages. I couldn't figure out exactly what to look up. Finally, I looked inside the front cover. 911 seemed a little drastic. The only other number was poison control. After several attempts, I finally dialed the number successfully. The problem was that I couldn't remember which digit I had just dialed or which one to dial next. I was quite incoherent on the phone, and had a lot of difficulty giving my address, phone number, etc. The lady told me that I had taken quite a lot, and that I should have someone take me to a hospital. I asked what might happen to me if I didn't go, and she said that I possibly could go into a coma and/or stop breathing. This scared me enought that I decided I needed to go in.
I found a friend that was willing to take me in. Thank goodness for friends. In the Emergency Room, I experienced several more heat flashes. My heart rate was up to almost 120 beats per minute when I was at my calmest point. They pumped my stomach and put activated charcoal down me to absorb any remaining DM. That is an experience well worth avoiding! I even preferred the blood and urine tests to the gastric lavage. My nose and throat were quite sore for several days afterward. I started coming down in less that an hour after these treatments. The doctor told me that the dose wasn't fatal, but if I hadn't come in, I might have passed out, and probably would have continued to experience the symptoms for at least another 8 hours. It would have been a real trick to explain that one to my family. It was hard enough to explain as it was. DM seems to be much more toxic than I had anticipated.
As I came down, my vision cleared up. I realized that the emergency sprinkler system in the ceiling was actually covered with dust. When I first got in there, it looked like it was covered with some crystaline jelly; I didn't even know it was a mild hallucination at the time. So, what good is a hallucination if you don't know it's a hallucination? I wonder what else I hallucinated.
They let me go within about 4 hours after I was admitted to E.R. At that point, I had a significant head ache, like a heavy hangover. My nose ached deep inside where they had put the tube in. I think it took several more hours for my heart rate to go back to normal. There was also a jittery twitchy feeling in the back of my leggs. I didn't sleep well that night. The hangover feeling lasted for another day. Three days later, I took half of an imipramine (a prescription antidepressant left over from a legitimate prescription) because my head felt a little foggy. A few hours later, I got a miniature heat flash, and felt a little spacey. That never happened before when I was on these antidepressants.
All in all, I think it was a VERY bad experience! Sure there were a few weird effects, but the negatives far outweighed the positives. The dose I took was significantly lower than what some people claim to have taken. I'm just glad I didn't chug the whole bottle at once. Perhaps some people's bodies can handle DM better than mine, but I have also noticed a large increase in people telling about bad experiences with it.
I don't think it's a very good idea to take a chance with DM. But, if you do, please start with lower doses, let a few days pass between doses, and increase the doses gradually. Not like me where I took twice as much as the time before. As for me, I don't think I will ever take DM again! As for you, try something safer, or at least be very carefull! BTW, I now hear that the tussin high is quite a bit different than being high on LSD, so I guess I still don't know what acid is like.
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