1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.

New Law Cracks Down on Robotripping: CA First State to Ban Sale of DXM to Minors

  1. Phungushead
    California on New Year’s Day becomes the first state to bar the sale of over-the-counter cold and cough medications containing dextromethorphan (DXM) to minors.

    Senate Bill 514 by state Senator Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, requires store clerks to check ID so no one under 18 buys these medications, which cause a potentially life-threatening high when consumed in high doses. A violation of the new law will be an infraction, punishable only by a fine; the law provides an exception for sale to minors with a prescription.

    The Senate approved the bill 38-0 in May and the Assembly approved it 49-23 in August; Gov. Jerry Brown signed it into law later that month.

    DXM is known by the street names robo, skittles, Triple C, Vitamin C, dex, red paint, and tussin. Because abusers commonly use Robitussin to get high, the act of abusing is often called “robotripping” or “robodosing.”

    Taken in high doses, DXM causes intoxication, hallucinations, seizures, loss of motor control, and “out of body” sensations similar to PCP and LSD. Simitian’s office says that, according to WebMD and the Consumer Healthcare Productions Association, one in 10 teenagers say they’ve used DXM to get high, making it more popular than LSD, cocaine, ecstasy or meth. The California Poison Control System reports that DXM abuse calls for children under age 17 have increased 850 percent in the past decade, making DXM abuse the most commonly reported type of abuse in this age group.

    Seizures and liver failure can occur from drinking just one package of over-the-counter cough medication, and DXM becomes more dangerous when mixed with alcohol or other drugs.

    “Until now, these drugs have been easy for young people to obtain,” Simitian said in a news release. “By putting age limitations on these drugs, we’re communicating to kids and their parents that, when used inappropriately, these are dangerous drugs with serious consequences.”

    The idea from the law was a winner from Simitian’s 2004 “There Oughta Be a Law” contest, submitted by Wayne Benitez and Ron Lawrence, both with the Palo Alto Police Department at the time; Lawrence is now the Rocklin’s police chief. A similar bill had died in 2004. “Today the extent and seriousness of the problem is better understood,” Simitian said.

    Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 at 11:26 am in California State Senate, Joe Simitian.

    By Josh Richman


  1. godztear
    I've been ID checked plenty of times In Illinois when buying DXM containing cough syrup, also with the stipulation that you can only have 2 purchases per customer. So for California to be considered the first to crack down is not entirely accurate.
  2. Leonurus
    My dog has been ID'd in West Virginia but only at certain stores. I think there may be some stores with some ID policies in place in Illinois also. Even though my dog loves DXM, he believes this law is great because minors do not need to be using any type of drugs. There is still alot of physiological development going on in younger persons and it "could" cause some changes in development.
  3. Heretic.Ape.
    Huh, interesting. Usually Cali seems to be the last in line for restriction. But then it is minors which is perfectly sensible since they are dumb and reckless and most likely to hurt themselves.
  4. rawbeer
    This is ironic coming from Drug-ifornia, but actually very sensible and progressive and in a way, sort of typically Californian.

    Drinking excessive amounts of cough syrup to get high is reckless and can be pretty dangerous, especially considering the age group that does it is typically pretty young. This is taking a simple, cost-effective measure to prevent a potentially dangerous problem, and it does not infringe on anyone's right to responsibly use good medicine.

    In that way it's the opposite of pot prohibition, when you think about it. Go California!
  5. Emin
    I was a youth not long ago looking for a quick high when shit fell through. I can say that if there was something like that instated when I was younger it would probably just lead to me or my friends shoplifting it. I'm not so sure that this is a good thing.
  6. m000nman
    totally agree, when i was 16 or 17 i stole cough syrup tons of times. making an age limit wont make the problem go away. but maybe the number of kids too scared/honest to steal will outweigh the amount of kids who will shoplift it, and diminish the problem. i guess only time will tell.

    PS i live in maryland and most walmarts here will card you for cough syrup, while other stores will not
  7. AltrdPercption
    Here in New York, you get asked for ID every time, now and then they just ask for birth date. Has been like this for a while.

    Unless they put all medications containing dxm behind the counter, or locked up... there will always be cases of abuse.
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!