Legislators Consider Bill Restricting Sale of Cough Suppressant
A New Jersey Assembly Committee will consider a measure Thursday that would prohibit the sale of any product containing dextromethorphan - an ingredient used in cough suppressants - to minors under the age of 18.
Dextromethorphan, also known as DXM, is a common ingredient used in cough suppressants that is being consumed in large quantities by kids looking to get high.
"It's in over 100 different medications and normally it's very safe and works well when you take the recommended dose of two teaspoons, but what kids do is they take the entire bottle, and that gives them hallucinations, an out of body feeling, they experience confusion and slurred speech," said Steve Liga,the executive director of the Middlesex County Chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
He also said there can be other effects from a lot of DXM, including "serious stomach issues, rapid heart rate, dizziness, loss of consciousness.
"If you take too much of it, you end up in a coma," Liga said. "It's nasty stuff when taken in large doses"
Liga stressed the problem of DXM abuse is significant.
"We know that at least 1 in 10 teenagers admits to using cough syrup to get high, so it's pretty prevalent," he said.
Liga said this type of medication should be kept out of the reach of children, and if there are teens in the house, it should be locked up, along with other potentially dangerous medications.