Substance Use

Mixing Dextromethorphan (DXM) and Alcohol: Can You Drink on DXM?

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What Are The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Dextromethorphan (DXM)?

Mixing dextromethorphan with alcohol can intensify the medication’s psychoactive side effects, which is why it’s sometimes called “poor man’s PCP.” The dangers of this combination include irregular heart rate, dizziness, delusions, seizures, and toxicity and overdose.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to alcohol and dextromethorphan, Zinnia Health can help. We offer a variety of treatment options that are customized to meet the needs of each individual and their substance use disorder. Call us at (855) 430-9439 for more information.

Can You Drink on Dextromethorphan?

You should not drink when taking dextromethorphan as it can lead to severe and unpredictable side effects.

As a cough suppressant, when dextromethorphan is absorbed into the bloodstream, it binds to receptors in the brain called NMDA receptors. These receptors are involved in pain perception, learning, and memory. Dextromethorphan (DXM) inhibits the function of these receptors and prevents them from sending signals to the brain.

Alcohol also interacts with NMDA receptors in the brain, which is why you should avoid drinking while taking dextromethorphan. Combining two substances that affect the body in a similar manner can greatly increase the risk of overdose and exacerbate the negative effects these substances have on the body.

How Long After Taking Dextromethorphan Can You Drink Alcohol?

Since dextromethorphan and alcohol should not be combined, you should wait at least 24 hours after taking dextromethorphan before consuming alcohol. This is to ensure your body has time to clear most or all the drug out of your bloodstream before alcohol is added to the mix.

If you’re having trouble abstaining from alcohol use while taking dextromethorphan, you may be suffering from an alcohol addiction. Intentionally combining dextromethorphan with alcohol to intensify the effects is also a type of substance misuse and it can lead to drug addiction.

Why Do People Mix Alcohol With Dextromethorphan?

Some people intentionally mix dextromethorphan and alcohol to get high. Dextromethorphan (DXM) is found in over-the-counter (OTC) cough medications like Robitussin and is widely available in pharmacies. The accessibility of this substance, combined with the availability of alcohol, makes them easy targets for abuse.

Among recreational users, dextromethorphan is known as skittles, triple c, or poor man PCP and it is often used with alcohol. This combination is sometimes called “Robo-tripping” or “Skittling.” This practice is popular because people want to experience the drug’s psychoactive effects.

Why Is It Dangerous to Mix Dextromethorphan with Alcohol?

While dextromethorphan may benefit those suffering from a cough as an over-the-counter medicine, it can be dangerous when mixed with alcohol. The effects of DXM are all exacerbated by alcohol since they both bind to NMDA receptors.

This means the combination can lead to:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of motor coordination
  • Drowsiness and sedation
  • Slurred speech
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety

Mixing alcohol with DXM also poses an increased risk of overdose, which can be fatal. Even if an individual survives an overdose, they may suffer from permanent consequences, including brain damage.

At Zinnia Health, our goal is to help you overcome your addiction and get your life back on track. We believe each patient is unique, with their own needs and goals, which is why we will work with you to create a treatment plan tailored to your specific situation. Contact us today at (855) 430-9439 or visit our site to learn more.

What Can Happen if You Drink on Dextromethorphan?

The effects of alcohol and dextromethorphan use can be very dangerous. Severe cases of alcohol and DXM abuse can lead to the following.

1. Hallucinations

Hallucinations are perceptions that are not real. They can be visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, or tactile, and they can be mild, fleeting, or severe, and persistent.

Dextromethorphan can cause similar hallucinatory effects to those experienced by ketamine or PCP users, and this effect is exacerbated by alcohol.  

Hallucinations can be dangerous because they can cause a person to act impulsively and irrationally. For example, a person who is hallucinating may become agitated and hostile, or they may attempt to harm themselves or others.

2. Paranoia

Paranoia is an irrational fear or suspicion of others. It can cause a person to become isolated and withdrawn, making it difficult to trust others.

Paranoia can disrupt daily life and cause a person to miss work, school, or meaningful social engagements. It can also lead to dangerous behaviors like self-harm or violence.

3. Delirium

Delirium is a state of confusion or dissociation caused by many different things, including infection, illness, injury, and substance abuse. Delirious people may have trouble thinking clearly, they may be disoriented, and they may experience an out-of-body sensation.

Delirium or psychosis can be very dangerous because it can lead to accidents and injuries.

4. Hyperthermia

Hyperthermia is a condition that occurs when the body overheats. It can be caused by many things, including strenuous activity, hot weather, and certain medications, including dextromethorphan.

Alcohol can increase dextromethorphan’s ability to cause the body to overheat, leading to potentially fatal health problems like heat stroke.

5. High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a condition that occurs when the force of the blood against the walls of the arteries is too high. Dextromethorphan’s ability to cause high blood pressure may be increased when it is combined with alcohol.

6. Seizures

Seizures are sudden changes in the electrical activity of the brain, and they can cause convulsions, loss of consciousness, and death. People who abuse DXM and alcohol together in high doses are at increased risk for seizures.

7. Developing a Dependency on either Substance

Regular dextromethorphan or alcohol abuse can weaken the body’s ability to function without them. As the body becomes more tolerant of the substances, more significant amounts are needed to achieve the desired effects. This can lead to addiction and other serious health problems.

8. Coma

A coma is a state of unconsciousness in which a person cannot be awakened. Comas can last for days, weeks, or even longer. The hyperthermia that can result from mixing DXM and alcohol can cause coma or damage to the brain.

What Are the Symptoms From Drinking Alcohol with Dextromethorphan?

Someone who is dealing with dextromethorphan and alcohol abuse will likely show signs in their physical and mental health.

If you’re worried that someone is suffering from dextromethorphan abuse, look for changes in their behavior, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Social withdrawal
  • Lack of motivation
  • Weight loss

The use of DXM can be very dangerous, but its wide accessibility means it could go unnoticed for long periods of time. If you’re worried about drug use, it’s important to learn about the treatment options available.

How to Get Help For a Dextromethorphan Addiction

If you are struggling with an addiction to alcohol and dextromethorphan, seeking professional help is the best option.

Several treatment options can help you overcome your addiction and get your life back on track. Some of these include:

  • Inpatient rehab: This is a residential treatment program where you live at the facility while receiving care. Inpatient rehab offers around-the-clock support and supervision from trained professionals.
  • Outpatient rehab:This is a less intensive type of treatment where you visit a clinic or center for addiction treatment and medical advice several times a week. Outpatient rehab can be helpful for people who cannot commit to inpatient rehab or who need to continue working or attending school while receiving treatment.
  • Support groups: Many support groups are available for people struggling with addiction. These groups provide emotional support and practical advice from people who have been through the same thing.
  • Individual therapy: This type of counseling can help you address the underlying causes of your addiction. Individual therapy can also help you develop healthy coping mechanisms for triggers and cravings.
  • Alternative therapies: Many alternative therapies can be helpful for people struggling with addiction. These include things like yoga, meditation, and acupuncture.

If you’re unsure of what type of treatment is right for you, contact Zinnia Health Center for answers to your questions. We specialize in helping people overcome drug abuse, and our experienced staff can help you find the right treatment plan to fit your needs. Our helpline is open 24/7, just dial (855) 430-9439.

People often drink alcohol to relax and have a good time. But what happens when you mix alcohol with dextromethorphan? Dextromethorphan (DXM) is a medication used to suppress

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