What is Robo-Tripping?

Most of us have not heard this terminology. Robo-tripping is one of several terms meaning “abusing over-the-counter cough medicine with the intent of getting high.” The “robo” comes comes from Robitussin which is, of course, a popular brand of cough medicine. “Tripping” is a common term used in reference for “being high” / an altered state of mind. Urban Dictionary defines it as “Drinking a bottle of Robitussin cough syrup (containing DXM), with the intention of purposely hallucinating.” This can also be referred to as “skittling / skittles” or “triple C.” The chemical commonly abused in cough medicine is Dextromethorphan (DXM), which used as a cough suppressant. Because of this trend many states have pulled this medication and medications containing DXM off the shelves. In some cases you have to be at least 18 years of age to purchase the product.

This particular “drug” appeals to younger people mainly because of its’ affordability, accessibility and virtually no criminal backlash. There is a misconception of Robo-Tripping be a “safer” way to get high. As we all know Robitussin (or any other cough medicine) is found at any pharmacy or in any grocery store. Even worse, it can be found in most home medicine cabinets. This is a very common household item generally kept on hand to cure the common cold or to ease its’ symptoms. This speaks to the accessibility and affordability. Kids can take their lunch money to buy a bottle of cough syrup. There is also a pure powder form sold on the internet. It it stronger and more potent. This form can be snorted or injected and is absorbed in the body faster giving a more intense high or “trip”.

When abused it gives a feeling of euphoria. This mirrors being drunk. One can also feel sedated as if on stronger medication. Abusers may also experience confusion, double or blurred vision, and slurred speech.

Side Effects of Robo-Tripping

Vomiting, stomach aches and pain attacks are the body’s immediate response to a non fatal overdose. There are about five plateau’s, all have different side effects. They range from drunk-like / euphoric feeling to profuse sweating, extreme nausea / vomiting and blackouts. Effects lasting up to two days.

Long-Term Side Effects

Hallucinations and muscle spasms are side effects of long-term use. Dextromethorphan is usually mixed with other medications which also have health complicating side-effects. Some of these medications can cause liver damage and high-blood pressure.

Robo-Tripping, although rare, in high doses can cause death by paralyzing the central nervous system.

Robo-Tripping Warning Signs

There are a few warning signs to help your loved ones safe. There are some universal warning signs for almost any addictive behavior such as declining grades, loss of interest in hobbies, hostile or uncooperative attitude, and unexplained disappearance of household money. Things specific to Robo-Tripping are excessive empty bottles and boxes of cough medicine found in trash and / or kids rooms or backpacks, and medicine missing from household. Unmarked random packages coming to the house are warning signs of the purer powder form (mentioned previously) of DXM being delivered from online purchasing. There is also specific language that is associated with Robo-Tripping. Earlier in the article, mentioning “skittles” / “skittling” and “triple C” / “CCC” and of course “robo-tripping” / “robo”. You should also listen out for terminology such as, “tussin”, “dexing” and “DXM”.

Keeping Your Loved Ones Safe From Robo-Tripping

Stay informed and have the conversation. Explain the dangers of Robo-Tripping. Stress to them the real dangers associated with abusing drugs, even over-the-counter. There is no safety in abusing drugs. Explain the side effects and how there can be real damaging long-term health consequences, even death. Keep your children and loved ones safe by watching for the signs and getting them help. Address your concerns and reassure them you are there to support. Get them needed help but most importantly love them.

Most people are looking to fill a void, if you can get to bottom of that you can curb their appetite for substances.

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