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 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Apr 26, 2002
I've had a bad head cold all week. I've been taking cough syrup which has dextromethorphan in it, to keep me from coughing up a lung.

Did you know there are people who use dextromethorphan recreationally?


More diaries by majubma
George Lucas, Oscar Wilde, and Homosexual Theater
At 10 to 100 times the effective dose for cough suppression, so-called "DXM" has a number of psychedelic (or psychotomimetic) effects. At least such is claimed by its users, who report a journey through several "plateaus" of experience depending on the strength of the dosage.

I tried 100mg of DXM one time, and found it incredibly unpleasant--I was immobilized and had to lay on the floor to wait out the effects. Even at normal cough syrup dosages it is unpleasant because I can't concentrate or think straight.

At recreational doses DXM is a "dissociative," a drug which decouples higher brain functions from lower ones. For the user, this could be potentially interesting if only to see what the higher brain areas experience when they are cut off from sensory input originating in the real world. However, actually judging the experience it problematic because a user's perceived enjoyment originates from the distorted perceptions of the affected areas of the brain, and not anything grounded in reality.

Watching someone use DXM is no fun. Users become uncoordinated, feel nauseated, and often vomit. Communication skills are affected. However, after the experience is over, the users typically remember few of the averse side effects, and even if they aren't remembered they do not carry negative associations. The user's consciousness was detached from the reality of the effects produced by the poison he ingested. All that remains is a pleasant blur.

People who abstain from the use of recreational drugs are the exception rather than the rule. The vast majority of humanity relies on some psychoactive substance for pleasure and relaxation, be it alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, or caffeine. But typically the use is in moderation -- these are tools used to enhance our experience of reality, not to divorce our experience from reality altogether.

There is an immature mindset in some people who haven't actually grasped this distinction. Their recreational drug use has the stated goal of getting "fucked up" -- they don't care about how pleasant the experience is, or how harmful it may be, as long as it alters their consciousness for a short time. This mindset is typically prevalent among those with little experience with psychoactive drugs -- for example, the sheltered teenager with a restrictive Christian upbringing who goes to a liberal arts college and soon transforms into a perpetually stoned drunkard, to the alarm of her classmates (who typically have enough experience with the substances involved to be able to avoid abusing them.) Almost every college student knows one of these.

This indicates a problem in our society, not a problem of recreational drug use, but a problem of communication. If her family had been able to speak with her openly and honestly about the uses and effects of drugs and alcohol, and allowed a limited amount of experimentation under their supervision, she might have learned lessons of moderation that would have kept her safe. Instead, she is raised with liberal doses of propaganda. Left to her own, she quickly discovers that she has been misinformed by the propaganda--not pausing to think that perhaps the propaganda was well-intentioned.

If we are to bring up our children to be able to cope in an increasingly immoral world, we must instill in them the ability to make correct value judgments. This cannot be done by sheltering them from the world's wrongs. Only by honesty and guided exploration can we trust our children to form a useful system of morals.


mmmmmmm (none / 0) (#1)
by KingAzzy on Fri Apr 26th, 2002 at 06:02:57 PM PST
sounds TASTY and fun!! who needs pot when you can OD on cough medicine! not even codeine cough medicine, either! (what crap)

Propaganda (none / 0) (#2)
by First Incision on Fri Apr 26th, 2002 at 10:11:16 PM PST
You developed a cough, and (logically) bought DXM. I follow you so far. It is powerful stuff, and works well.

Then like many stoners with chronically impaired mentation, you read something on the Internet or heard something from a friend and proceeded to guzzle your antitussive until incapacitated.

Furthermore, you proceed to complain about these immature stoned drunkards, when it is you who is incapacitated on the floor.

I had such a "restrictive Christian upbringing." I attended a liberal arts college. Maybe if you did the same (or applied yourself at the college you did/do attend) you would have a little more respect for the brain God crafted for you. Maybe you refrain from attacking this precioius gift with ridiculous amounts of drugs.

And just maybe you would have a little more respect for the minds of Adequacy than to abuse us with your warmed-over stoner propaganda.
Do you suffer from late-night hacking? Ask your doctor about Protonix.

Huh? (none / 0) (#3)
by majubma on Fri Apr 26th, 2002 at 11:47:44 PM PST
I fail to see where you are reading this stuff into my post. To clarify, the one time I did take 100mg DXM was many years ago and has nothing to so with the legitimate cough-suppressant use I made of it today. And I will freely admit that attempted recreational use was a singularly stupid act resulting from a very immature mindset I had at the time--wan't that the point of my post?

-- All information wants to be free, especially information about what you do in the privacy of your own home.

Maybe I'm missing something... (none / 0) (#4)
by hauntedattics on Mon Apr 29th, 2002 at 10:16:18 AM PST
but I fail to see how enjoying the complete culinary experience of a bottle of Penfolds Bin 27 Shiraz with a nice sirloin amounts to recreational drug use.

Exactly his point. (none / 0) (#5)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Apr 30th, 2002 at 06:17:13 AM PST
And your kids didn't end up as addicts, did they?


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