Even though addiction to dextromethorphan over-the-counter is not always taken seriously, it is a very real and dangerous addiction. Dextromethorphan is commonly found in hundreds of over the counter cough medications. First introduced in cough medications in the 1950′s, misuse of the drug was not discovered as a problem until much later.
The addictive property of Dextromethorphan is a substance called levorphanol, similar in structure to codeine. A narcotic, it is present only in small amounts when used correctly. When it is misused, it can produce varying effects such as disassociation, and can make the user feel transported outside of the body. These are the feelings desired by one with an addiction to dextromethorphan over-the-counter.
The effects of dextromethorphan are similar to those experienced by PCP users. The effects, when used in very high amounts, can last anywhere from 7 to 14 hours, making it an attractive drug of choice for some. In most cases, withdrawal effects will be an issue when stopping dextromethorphan.
Treatment in a quality rehabilitation facility is the best option for any client with an addiction to dextromethorphan over-the-counter. The addict should be weaned slowly off of the drug, in a similar way that they are weaned off of any other drug. The goal is to get the addict completely off of dextromethorphan, and able to function again in the outside world the way they did prior to their addiction.
One of the biggest risks taken by a person with an addiction to dextromethorphan over-the-counter occurs when it is combined with acetaminophen, as it commonly is. High doses of acetaminophen can cause serious liver damage. When a person has an addiction to dextromethorphan over-the-counter, it should always be taken seriously, and treated by professionals in an inpatient rehabilitation center.