Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Five Moms - Raising Awareness About Dex Abuse Among Teens

Cough syrup manufacturers have banned together with a group of mothers to raise awareness among parents about cough syrup abuse. The campaign called Five Moms, focuses on education, awareness, and involvement. The website is filled with resources for the parent who suspects their child of this type of abuse and a forum to discuss the issue with others concerned about the problem.

Dextromethorphan (known by the kids as Dex) has therapeutic and legitimate purposes and when used appropriately – it is a safe and effective ingredient found in more than 100 over-the-counter cough medicines that families have relied on for decades. But teens are now abusing it by taking it in extremely large quantities.

Cough medicine abuse happens when teens take extreme amounts—sometimes as much as 25 to 50 times the recommended dose—of cough medicine to get high. Teens are finding and sharing information about cough medicine abuse on the Internet, but what they aren’t telling each other is that this abuse can be very dangerous.

Kids use slang terms and IM abbreviations for everything. This form of over the counter drug abuse is no different. If you hear a teen talking about Dex, DXM, Skittles, Syrup, Tussin, Triple-C, and CCC, you might have a problem. Popular expressions for abusing the drug are Robo-tripping, Dex-ing, Robo-fizzing, and Skittling. Users are sometimes called “syrup heads” or “robotards.”

This issue hit home a few months ago when a teen close to my family decided to abuse cough syrup. While high on the drug, he robbed a convenience store with a plastic toy gun and is now dealing with the consequences of his actions. This is no joke and parents should take the signs seriously.
Five Moms wants you to know that education and communication are the key. The project is spearheaded by these incredible women:

Julie Bermant, a pediatric nurse practitioner from Massachusetts
Blaise Brooks, an accountant from California
Christy Crandell, the California mother of a former cough-medicine abuser
Becky Dyer, a D.A.R.E. officer and deputy sheriff from Kansas
Hilda Morales, an educator from Texas

Take advantage of the information they’ve made available on the Five Moms website. Learn the signs and help keep a teen out of trouble. Without a doubt, they think because it’s not an illegal drug it can’t hurt them. It can.

Dextromethorphan is an anesthetic. If the teen takes enough of it, it produces a euphoric feeling, hallucinations, and depression of the central nervous system. There have been deaths associated with Dex abuse because similar to a heroin overdose, the body just forgets to breath.

The message, be proactive in the lives of the teens you love. Educate yourself and be aware of the trends in the youth culture. And above all else, talk to your kids.


Lordmanilastone said...

dextromethorpan is a generic name if i am not mistaken which is commonly advertised on TV nets in the Philippines, this must be a very informative post, i was once hooked to rugby, but i had to say goodbye, i almost attempted syrups but i changed my mind, thanks again for the info^^

Lisa McGlaun said...

What is rugby? Is it something other than the sport? Yes, dextromethorphan is the generic name of the drug used in most cough syrups.

Thanks for the comment and glad you changed your mind about using the syrup.


thewishfulwriter said...

It is absolutely FRIGHTENING to know that kids are doing this kind of stuff...Hell, I'm going to be afraid to have ANYTHING in my cabinets when I have teenagers (make that are starting earlier and earlier!)

Lisa McGlaun said...


It is frightening and as parents you just do the best you can. I've learned that no matter how hard parents try if the child is determined to try things like this they will. Sometimes the best we can hope for is to be super-aware and catch them at it as quickly as possible.

You'll be a gret mother, I'm sure.


Anna said...

lisa, how do you come up with these ideas for blog, I never knew something like that was happening, this is sad. anna :) thanks for education.

Happily Anonymous said...

Another great post Lisa. I am so happy my kids are grown up basically now. I've been truly lucky not to ever had to deal with this type of situation.

Lisa McGlaun said...

I do alot of surfing and reading. I surf the news magazines on the web and constantly scour my subscriptions to Newsweek, Utne, and Reader's Digest and my local newspaper.

The idea for this post actually came from a site called Good News.


Lisa McGlaun said...


My house is full of children under eighteen so I think about this kind of thing alot. I'll be glad when they are grown.


LadyBanana said...

I'd not heard of this kind of abuse before and have no idea if it's happening in UK.

The youngest of my kids is now 19 and thankfully they have come through without touching anything too dangerous. (As far as I know!)

Lisa McGlaun said...


It's so good to see you comment! I love your blog!

I think this kind of abuse occurs because kids are looking for things to experiment with that are not illegal. That, somehow, if it's not illegal it won't hurt them, they can't get into trouble and it won't be addicting. It's just exploring.

Unfotunately, some learn the hard way that this is not the case.

Come again..and please voice your opinion..:)

Best Wishes,

Fruit species said...

A lot of things can be subjected to abuse and used it to the extreme. Paint and glue are one of the most common abuses. Teens will always be teens when led astray. Cheers from Fruity

Lisa McGlaun said...


You're right. There will always be something. All we can do is try to stay aware of the trends so we can lead them back if they go astray.


Agnes Mildew said...

This is a new one on me - like Lady B, I live in the UK and it doesn't appear to be creating any problems - yet. Thanks for the warning, though. It is certainly something I will watch out for.

Lisa McGlaun said...


I live in the suburbs of a large city. Maybe that is why we see things first. The problem is kids looking for ways to get high withoug buying illegal drugs. Over the counter and perscription meds are easy substitutes .


Lynnae @ Being Frugal said...

Wow! Thanks for the info. I had no idea!

Lisa McGlaun said...

You're welcome Lynnae. Doing the research was an education for me, too.