Experts warn of DXM resurgence
Davis police sent out an alert warning about what teens have dubbed “Triple C, (the slang term for Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold), “Skittles,” or “Robotripping.”
What is Triple C and why are teens abusing it?
Although using cold medicine to get high is not a new phenomenon, Davis police said there’s been a spike in the last six months.
“The trend we’ve been seeing in Davis is young people taking this Triple C cold medicine in large quantities and then they become ill and some have even gone to the hospital,” said Kerirch Riesenick, a spokesperson for Davis police.
The most common products teens use are Coricidin or Robitussin, according to the California Poison Control Center. They can be purchased over the counter at any grocery store.
However, because the consumer is required to show an ID proving he or she is at least 18 years old, teens are stealing the medicine to get high.
In the last several years, calls the California Poison Control Center received about teen abuse of Triple C jumped from 3 percent to 25 percent of all calls, according to Dr. Annie Arens, a Medical Toxicology Fellow at UCSF.
Arens said to get a high, teens often take all 16 tablets of Coricidin or consume the entire 4-fluid-ounce bottle of Robitussin.
“They get a dissociative experience, so they start having hallucinations and then their body feels drunk,” said Jon Daily, a drug addiction specialist and the founder of Recover Happens.
“The short term effect is you’re going to wind up in the hospital. You can have irregular heartbeat and your breathing can become suppressed,” Daily said.
“Long term effect? You can get into a coma and die.”
Jon Daily, LCSW, CADC II