Dextromethorphan (DXM) Abuse and Treatment Options | Futures of Palm Beach
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Dextromethorphan (DXM) Abuse and Treatment Options

Drug abuse and addiction can affect anyone at any time. For some individuals, however, the image of any kind of drug abuse is associated with stereotypes. People who engage in drug abuse dress a certain way and “hang out” in certain parts of town. People who engage in drug abuse behave in a certain way, such as stealing money or property in order to buy drugs from frightening and dangerous dealers on the street. Unfortunately, these stereotypes can be misleading and often detrimental when it comes to receiving treatment for drug abuse and addiction. It might come as a surprise to some of these individuals that drug abuse truly does not have a face, a dress code or a behavior that defines every person who suffers from addiction.In fact, some drugs of abuse are available at your local market.

Dextromethorphan, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is an active ingredient in cough and cold medicines that can be purchased without a prescription across the country. Depending upon the product, there may not even be an age limit associated with the purchase of these drugs. This makes them rather attractive to individuals in their teen years. The effects of dextromethorphan (DXM) abuse are similar to dissociative drugs like Ketamine or PCP. The individual who engages in the abuse may feel as though they are outside of their body, for instance. The person often loses control of motor functions, becomes physically ill with nausea and vomiting, and can experience an increase in their heart rate. Blood pressure can rise as well.

Individuals who engage in dextromethorphan abuse are taking the drug in much higher doses than what is recommended by the manufacturer for legitimate use, according to the Center for Substance Abuse Research. In fact, the dosages can be as much as 150 times the recommended dosage, and individuals who engage in heavy use may consume as many as four bottles of cough syrup in a single day.

Long-Term Effects of Dextromethorphan Abuse Touch Many Lives

Individuals who engage in long-term abuse of DXM can expect to suffer from the very symptoms that it is meant to treat. It is also possible that the individual may develop psychosis or a break with reality marked by behavioral issues and ongoing confusion. It is important to understand that drug addiction and drug abuse do not affect only the person engaging in drug use, but it can affect everyone around them.

For instance, dextromethorphan abuse can:

  • Injure, maim or kill total strangers if the individual abusing the drug is responsible for a car accident or other tragedy while under the influence
  • Cause strife within families as parents or other loved ones struggle with the effects of the abuse on their own lives
  • Predicate the removal of children from their parents as foster care becomes the only option for a safe environment for the children of addicts
  • Cause financial difficulties as individuals spend exorbitant amounts of money on medications that contain dextromethorphan to the detriment of other responsibilities
  • Promote the spread of sexually transmitted diseases as those who engage in drug abuse make uninformed and dangerous decisions while under the influence of drugs

Ultimately, the individual is at risk for developing an addiction, which is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that can affect every aspect of a person’s life.

In order to recover from drug addiction, it is often necessary to participate in a treatment program provided by a trained and licensed professional facility.

If you have, or someone you love has engaged in dextromethorphan abuse or you suspect that addiction has developed, now may be the time to act to get the help you need. Treatment options are available.

Finding the Right Treatment Center for You and Your Family

If you’ve never faced the prospect of drug addiction treatment before, the process can seem a little daunting. Where do you find help?  What kinds of treatment are available to help your family? Whom do you talk to? The most important aspect, and the one that might have the power to change your family’s future for the better is the fact that you are seeking help. That’s the first step of a process that can be tailored to meet your needs. The right treatment center for you and your family will be one that understands what you’re going through and has the expertise and compassion to make a difference. The treatment principles, established by the experts at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, can help you determine which type of facility is the best fit.

Ask yourself the following questions as you search for help from any program:

  • Will the treatment plan address all my needs, and not just the addiction issue? Treatment programs should place importance on all aspects of one’s life to create a healthy environment, addressing family, work, school, legal issues as a result of the addiction, and co-occurring mental health issues.
  • Is the treatment plan created specifically for me? There is no single, boilerplate treatment program that will magically help everyone. Each person is different and their experiences are as unique to them as their fingerprints. Treatment plans should be designed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Does the treatment facility offer programs of an adequate length to be fully effective? There is no way to determine how long an individual will need to remain in treatment; however, research has suggested that participation in long-term and short-term residential treatment programs have the most impact on completion rates.
  • Does the treatment program utilize evidence-based therapies? Behavioral therapies that can address how a person thinks as it relates to how they behave are some of the most effective therapy models used for drug abuse and addiction treatment. These therapies can provide life skills that last well beyond the therapy period.
  • Does the treatment program monitor and limit access to drug abuse during treatment? Simply understanding that they will be periodically tested for drug abuse can be a powerful deterrent and an aid to overcome the compulsion to abuse drugs while in treatment. A positive drug test can also indicate a need to adjust the treatment being provided.

The benefits of a residential treatment program for dextromethorphan abuse and other forms of drug addiction can be found in the atmosphere as well as the therapeutic aspects. When individuals reside at the treatment facility, they can totally immerse themselves in the healing process, from the company they keep to the activities they participate in daily. Rather than dealing with the stress of work, children, parents or other influences, they can devote their energy to managing the stress that comes from recovery and withdrawal with the assistance of holistic practices such as yoga, meditation, and massage.

In the end, the decision on what type of treatment will be best is made based on the needs, requirements, and recommendations of the medical professionals treating the patient. If you or someone you love needs treatment, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can answer questions and help you find your way to a treatment option that will work for you and your family so you can leave DXM abuse behind for good.

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