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Dxm Addiction And Withdrawal

Posts: 2
Joined: January 23, 2014

Posted: January 23, 2014, 10:35 PM
I have been addicted to DXM for the last 6 months. I was a daily user, taking 30-40 a day, totaling 600-800 mgs. This last 6 months I have watched my body suffer from the abuse. My hands would be tingly when I woke up. I had bad muscle aches. My vision was getting progressively worse. And my mental and emotional health suffered greatly. I was forgetting what I was saying mid-sentence. And I never recall what we were talking about. Someone had to remind me. I was beginning to see that my cognitive abilities were taking a beating. I was once sharp and witty. Now I felt like my IQ was lowering daily. I had to ask my boyfriend many time, "What are we doing right now?". I've read a lot of literature on DXM addiction and withdrawal and I learned that the reason DXM addicts forget what they are saying and forgetting what they are doing is caused by legions growing on my brain! That is a sobering thought.

I tried cutting down and telling my sister and bf (they are the only two about my addiction besides my stepdaughter and my best friend. I'd tell people I was tapering off even though I started taking even more.

I am bipolar and my cycles have been all over the place. And I suffer from panic attacks. I've had 4 just this week. I attribute the gradual increase to the DXM.

Just this past Saturday I wept and said allow that I need help to quit. This is going to kill me if I continue as I have.

I was addicted for one year back in 2012 and quit for a few several months but then I relapsed in July 2013.

I took my last pills Saturday, January 18th. I flushed about 300 pills down the toilet. I finally had enough wanting to quit but not even trying to. When I quit the first time, I had severe facial edema for about a week. I had a friend who was a chiropractor who helped stimulate my adrenal glands. Apparently when the adrenal glands are in peril, one may start retaining water in the face and mainly around the eyes. So after I threw the pills down the toilet I had to keep telling myself that it doesn't matter if I get puffy. The rest of my organs, my mind and bipolar are suffering greatly. I may even lose my relationship or even worse, I may lose my mind and have to live in an insane asylum. This may sound drastic but it is not. There is plenty of research and examples of people losing their mind due to years of DXM abuse.

I haven't had any since Saturday evening. That means that I am 5 days without cough pills. At this point, that realization is the only thing good thing going on right now. I have never withdrew from any other substance despite being addicted to alcohol, pain pills and Benadryl. When I quit those substances, I felt fine. I didn't feel a physical dependence.

Not so with DXM. My body aches all over, I am emotionally unstable (I cried at work 3 times), my anxiety and agitation is through the roof. I've cycled about 6 times today from my bipolar. My heart beats irregular and every time I turn my head, I get dizzy. I am paranoid. I slept 14 hours straight yesterday. There are moments when I stand up too quickly that I swear I am going to faint.

I've read that all the symptoms I am experiencing are completely normal and I should expect to feel this way for about two weeks. What I did read sounds optimistic that the body can repair itself after long abstinence.

I am embarrassed that at 40 years old, I am addicted to cough pills.

Thank you for listening.

Posted: April 16, 2014, 1:52 AM
I am also addicted to DXM. I take Mucinex DM pills. Each one has 60mg DXM and I take 10-12 at a time. It makes me feel like I've been drinking alcohol, and it has been causing major problems in my life. I have fallen several times because my leg muscles stiffened. No one seems to know anything about Mucinex DM, but it's readily available in all grocery and drug stores. I want to get off the Mucinex but I suffer horrible depression when I stop taking it. I am just hoping that someone out there reads this and can help me.

Posted: January 14, 2015, 4:27 PM
I know this is an old topic but as I was googling "dxm addictions" I came across this and thought I'd post as well. My name is Jen and I've been using dxm products for five years now, starting my senior year of hs. Ever since then it has been a downhill spiral. I'm also an alcoholic, something that is very hard for me to admit to but it's the truth. I also started drinking during my senior year in hs but at the time it was easier for me to obtain dxm rather than alcohol because I was still underage and knew no one who would buy it for me. My dxm drug of choice is normally Mucinex DM pills, particularly the ones with 60 mg in each pill. Popping pills is easier for me to do rather than gulping down all of that cough syrup. Still, I hate how big the pills are, the horrible smell, and the inevitable vomiting that's bound to occur a half hour later (sometimes earlier) after I've ingested them. What's even worse, because of my high tolerance, in order for the pills to have any kind of effect on me I have to mix them with alcohol. So I drink about half a fifth of vodka, then down the pills. And then if I don't pass out when the pills kick in, I usually black out. In either case, it's no longer "fun" like it was years earlier. Still, I can't seem to stop. Every time I get drunk, I get the urge to do the pills as well. I'm 23 now, but I don't want to be doing this still when I reach my thirties. It's destroyed my life and costs me great friendships and the trust of my family and I'm worried it's only going to get worse from here on out. I've been in and out of rehabs and nothings changed. I'd say it'd be easier to quit the pills since they no longer work the way I like. But quitting the alcohol is another story completely. I love to drink, alcohol is like the worst kind of best friend for me. The thing is I can't ever seem to drink without getting black-out drunk and getting into some kind of trouble and scaring the heck out of my family and humiliating myself. That should be enough to make me stop, but once the urge kicks in I lose all control.
Thanks for reading, sorry I couldn't offer any help, although I'm curious to know how the original poster, freedom, has turned out? Were you able to stay off dex on your own?

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This post has been edited by moderator on January 14, 2015, 4:45 PM

Posts: 1906
Joined: October 23, 2011

Posted: January 14, 2015, 6:12 PM
Hello Jen:

Do you attend AA meetings ? Rehab isn't an answer .. it is a beginning.

I found alcohol/drug recovery in the 12 Steps of AA & NA.
In the commitment to those programs.

All the best.

Bob R

Serenity Prayer
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Free copy of AA's Big Book on-line:

Free copy of NA's Big Book on-line:
Copy & Paste

Copy & paste



--- driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity.

---there are those too who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

... I need AA more than it needs me.

--- I fight recovery tooth and nail....
I'm not used to being sane, it just doesn't seem natural.

...... According to the great spiritual teachers, ignorance does not result from what we don’t know; ignorance results from what we think we do know.

---Some think that 2+2=5 and believe it.
Some know that 2+2=4 and can't stand it.

--- I didn't have a very happy childhood
but I sure am having a long one !

---Dry since 1989
working daily on getting/staying SOBER.

---If you want to drink, that's your business
...If you want to quit, that's AA's business.

... Tell me, I'll forget;
... Show me, I'll remember;
... Engage me, I'll understand.

---Most problems are psychological.
Most solutions are spiritual .

"If we try to change our ego with the help of our ego, we only have a better-disguised ego."
--Richard Rohr

WWBWD (What Would Bill W. Do)

Posted: January 15, 2015, 12:23 AM
Hi Freedom1373,

I will start straight away - but don't be upset about it please.

Addiction from DXM ? WTF is with this world. Some 5-6 years ago i had many friends who was taking DXM syrup [we had for sale syrup with total of 1200 mg of DXM] every day for years - and one day government stopped to sell them - banned! All guys and girls i knew never had any withdrawn symptoms at all - just suddenly stopped.

What is in your case darling - it's just in your head - be positive, smile more, go out for a drink with friends, etc world is big you know. If that not helps you go and buy without prescription "Kalmms" it's remedy witch makes you calm all day long. For another option go to GP and ask to prescribe you [say you feel depressed etc] Sertraline (trade names Zoloft, Lustral) is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class, is an antidepressant used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and anxiety. Believe me is super drug - but you will start to feel effect of it after about a week - he needs to build up in your body. But them - you will feel like a God :)

So, hope i didn't upset you - and some info i gave you will help. Let me know later how you doing.


Posts: 3
Joined: June 15, 2015

Posted: June 15, 2015, 1:45 AM
I've been addicted to DXM cough gels for the last 3 1/2 years about. I have quit multiple times always relapsing. I go through withdrawals each time I quit for a couple days consisting of nausea and vomiting and sleeping for many hours. Each time I swear I won't do it again but then a few days later I tell myself it's ok to use again. It's been a horrible struggle of mine.

Are any of the original posters here still out there reading this and able to continue talking more about it? Or perhaps anyone new reading this with the similar dilemma?

I'm now on day 5 of getting clean from this s*** and I want to keep going. It would be nice to have some other people online to chat with about it if anyone comes across this. Thanks.
Andrea (earthgoddess)

Posted: August 1, 2015, 3:44 AM
OH my i abuse them so much. They are different they are easy to hide, not illegal. but still gives you a high, of bliss. pass ua's but they they have started controlling my life. " it is just cold pills, cough cough"

Posted: September 13, 2015, 3:58 PM
I too am addicted to dxm - now 3 days clean. I've experienced many of the same withdrawal symptoms that have been described here. I was also drinking alcohol along with taking the pills. I have a history of being involved with Alcoholics Anonymous as well as their narcotics anonymous. I'm not overly impressed with either one of those groups. But I am trying To find recovery buddies that I can be accountable too.

Posted: September 30, 2015, 9:50 AM
So, my son has been addicted to DXM for over 10 years. He will be 27 next week. It has literally ruined his life. He has been in many rehabs, mental hospitals and hospitals due to accidents. He has also ruined 4 cars.

I had a family member that is a research pharmacist research the molecular structure of DXM and this is he suggested taking N-Acetyl Cysteine to help with cravings and/or block the high. It is an Amino Acid.

I just ordered a few bottles (Life Extension) and will have my son give it a try. I'll let you all know what the results are. I don't have a dosage recommendation so we will just use the dosage information on the back of the bottle.

Like I said, this is experimental at this time. I am not recommending you all run out and try this, but we are desperate and willing to give it a try.

I was also told that good ole Benadryl may block the DXM high.

Posted: October 17, 2015, 2:14 AM
I have been addicted to DXM since May 2010 the first time I really got messed up from it. I have been to the emergency room and intensive care unit 29 times and I am not exaggerating. I have been institutionalized since October of 2010. The longest I spent out of a treatment center was 7 months and I was using DXM the entire time. I went 16 months without it because of being locked up in mental hospital. But I obsessed about DXM almost everyday. The last time I did DXM was September 9, 2015 and I did not take a lot but felt very euphoric without it disabling me. That was after 16 months without it. Anyways. I took hydroxyzine, haldol, ativan, and seroquel all on different days to try to ease my uncontrollable craving for DXM. I have been clean and sober for 29 days as of today. I am in rehab, I go to twelve step meetings everyday, sometimes more than once a day, I have a sponsor who I call everyday, I read recovery literature about AA and NA. I pray and meditate. That has helped me from relapsing so far. I also tell people when I feel like using. I still really want to trip on DXM again. Really bad. But if I do it will activate my addiction and I will use until I overdose again. I will end up locked up or dead. I keep thinking about how to take it and not overdose. But I always end up overdosing. The longest I went without overdosing during active DXM use was 3 months. The last time I continually used DXM it took 8 days before I overdosed. Do not underestimate DXM. It can kill you. I hope it does not kill me.

Posted: October 17, 2015, 2:31 AM
By the way benadryl does not block the high from DXM. I have taken benadryl to sleep after taking DXM. The DXM overshadows the benadryl. Nothing blocks DXM high not even naktrexone.

Posted: November 3, 2015, 1:56 AM
I'm on mucinex dm right now. I can't stop :( :( I hate my life someone please help.

Posted: December 1, 2015, 9:54 PM
I am addicted to DXM, usually taking generic forms that are not long-acting like Mucinex. Mucinex makes you overdose and get way too high, the 30 mg generic pills are the safest for me that are immediate-release...but it dumbs you down, it affects your handwriting, I've lost jobs because of my lack of attention to detail, my typing speed has halved... I thought taking it would be better than drinking alcohol or popping pain pills or benzodiazepines, all things I have had problems with... I usually get high with anything I can get my hands on and DXM is the easiest. I am leaving to go to treatment in a day for 30-42 days of inpatient rehabilitation and am terrified of it. This is my second inpatient treatment. I hope it works. 12 step programs do nothing for me. I hope we all find relief and I hope they just take the crap off the shelves permanently. I don't have the impulse control to not go down the cough medicine aisle... i steal it usually... I also suffer from depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder, so my impulse control is out of control as it is...

Posted: December 1, 2015, 9:55 PM
I should also mention I have had to call 911 a few times from being so disoriented and high and hallucinations. I've had falls from combining alcohol and DXM together, and even completely blacked out and stopped breathing from mixing vodka and DXM before, so it's very, very dangerous to mix the two.... be very careful and stop if you can at all... it's not worth it!

Posted: January 12, 2016, 11:51 AM
Okay, I'll get straight to it. I'm currently 26 years old, and from the ages of 14 to about 20 I was a DXM junkie. I took 600-900mgs daily for a very long time, and my pills of choice were Robotussin Cough Gels.

This is important, because Robotussin Cough Gels ONLY contained the dextromethorphan that got me high. Mucinex pills, although they DO contain more DXM per pill, also contain an expectorant-Guaifenesin-and in high doses, it ALWAYS causes nausea/vomiting/diarrhea. If taking DXM, also stay away from Coricidin Cough and Cold, because they contain chlorphen, and it will give you SEIZURES if you take too much.

Here's some valuable information concerning DXM in general:

I can't stress this one thing enough, though, when it comes to using DXM, AND when it comes to getting off the stuff: WEED HELPS! Not only are you going to feel MUCH better as far as the physical side effects of DXM, but if you're currently withdrawing, plenty of medical cannabis for the 2-3 weeks during your return to normal is GOING TO HELP. Really, get the green, any way you can, and trust the plants over the drugs... Now I'll leave that alone.

I know a lot of you are suffering from your DXM use, and I wish you the best in overcoming your addiction. I just hope that with correct information, and adding pot to the mix, you will at least suffer much less as you try to find your way back through the looking glass. At some point, the cold numb anesthetic feeling the DXM induces in your body will get old, eventually you'll want to feel things normally again, and when you quit, it's almost going to feel like you're body is "thawing out" as your nerves regain normal sensation again. The DXM really IS an anesthetic, and as it leaves your body you'll notice it. I was so thankful when I finally came out of a years-long affair with the stuff. It felt like I was being reborn, from the grave, like I was a ghost before that had suddenly found his body again. I started feeling WARM inside, and eventually I was able to have sex again (which was impossible on DXM).

Its really weird to come out of it all after so long being IN that state, but it begins to feel very good, very soon, once the drugs are out of you. Normal reality, by itself, kinda feels just a little more colorful after it all, my body and nerves are sensitive again, and I notice typical sensations and appreciate them more than I ever did before. To be honest, my life was changed forever because of it. The normal, everyday life I live now just seems more fulfilling, satisfying, now.

Good luck, again, to all of you. May the Force be with you.


Posted: June 22, 2016, 11:55 PM
I am an "alcoholic" in my 40s and quit. However once upon a time, I took Mucinex DM for the 1st time, when I got sick during a winter. Then I got better and no longer needed to take it, but I couldn't stop taking it. I had to force myself to stop, despite the compulsion to get more. I suspected it was addictive, but then the Internet and doctors convinced me it was not, and it was all in my head. Now about 4 years later; I've picked it up again. I don't have a cold or cough, but take Mucinex DM (in low does for now) and can't stop. I don't get high nor a buzz. It just makes me feel level, but whenever I try to stop, the compulsion to get more is so strong; I can't resist. I am relieved to find out from this website that it is an addiction. There's no excuse protecting my denial anymore. I have to seek outside help. It's just going to feel ridiculous to say "Hi...I'm addicted to Mucinex DM" + I DON'T want it to be known that it is addictive because of the easy access and acceptance as a "safe OTC". I need something to escape and cope.

Posts: 3
Joined: June 15, 2015

Posted: June 24, 2016, 1:37 AM
Hey there Riva. Have you been clean from it now for a few days? I too was an alcoholic and about a year into being sober I started slowly abusing robitussin. This went on for the last 4 years about. I'm now 99 days clean and 5 1/2 years sober. You just have to quit cold turkey and stay away from the drug stores and/or wherever else you buy it. How did you stop drinking?

Posts: 1
Joined: August 22, 2016

Posted: August 22, 2016, 2:58 PM
Hello everyone,

I've been on this drug for several years. I am not the sterotypical teenage user, and I have come to realize that this stereotype is not correct anyway. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and was on anti-depressants for awhile. I stopped because I didn't trust the VA and wanted to deal with my issues without medicines. The irony in that approach was that I found DXM to be a good anti-depressant in low doses (100 mg). I still don't trust the VA but am considering seeing a private physician to have a professional treat me and hold me accountable to stay off of this terrible drug.

I've wanted to quit this drug for sometime and really lost any pleasure in taking it a long time ago. Today is day two of an effort to get off of it. I am writing this to put it out there, albeit anonymously, that I want out of this.

I am pulling out all of the stops to do so. I've risked ending a relationship because I was afraid that she would not accept it. We talked (argued) about this the other day and ultimately I discovered that my future wife loves me and forgives this of me.

Since I got over my irrational anger for her wanting to change me. I committed to quitting. I told her everything about my addiction, the lies I have told, thoughts of suicide and embarrassment about hiding this for so long. She knew something was off for awhile now and was actually relieved that it wasn't something worse. I told her that I think this is just as bad or worse than other addictions.

I know I am just starting a journey that will likely come with difficulty. I will face it and not relapse. I have a lot to live for and using this drug is just a slow route to self destruction.

I have tried to quit several times with a full 20 days being my best effort.

Today I feel the dizziness that always pulls me back to the drug. I hate the feeling and in previous half hearted efforts I thought I could manage it with a smaller dose. Some other sites even recommend weening off of it. I can testify that this addict doesn't have the capacity to manage an approach like that. Cold turkey is the only way to go.

So, I hope to post here again soon to continue to celebrate success (two days feels like a huge success right now).

Best of luck to everyone fighting this addiction. I know the difficulty you have faced and pray for all of you. Even if you have not beaten it yet, I think coming to a place like this is a sign that you will.

Hippie Mama

Posted: September 17, 2016, 4:12 AM
Dear Jacob et al, my heart goes out to you. I have struggled with DXM addiction for 7 years (alcohol for 35 years); you CAN get better. I've been Baker-acted, Marchman-acted, arrested 5 times, institutionalized, spent time in jail, OD'd
3 times (even died 1 time...had to be defibrillated...woke up in ICU). Finally "hit bottom," went to rehab and got off the crazy train. Have 5 months clean and sober. In AA and NA they tell you that as an active addict, you have 3 options: jails, institutions, or death. I've done 2...I don't want to die. Get your a** into an AA or NA'll save your life. Get a sponsor. Best of luck to you. You CAN get better if you want to. Love to all. 💕Hippie Mama 💕

Posted: November 1, 2016, 2:20 PM
I have been addicted to dxm for 8.5 years. I am 22 now and newly married, I've almost lost him and my son because no matter how many days I go clean, I always relapse. I could overdose and almost die, vow to never do it again, then three days later think it's ok. It's like another part of me takes over and I can't stop from walking in the store and buying some (coriciden is DoC but will take anything most of the time). I get lost in my own neighborhood, I forget what we're talking about, I forget EVERYTHING, my short term memory is shot, my Bain always hurts like it has holes being burnt in it, my ears ring constantly and my vision is almost non existent. I loved the high, the heightened sex drive which really helped me being a sexual abuse victim. I also loved the weight loss!!! I am clean again, and want to do anything I can to prevent relapse, my hole life depends on it. I have peri phial neuropathy now which causes my nerves and joint to ache and makes excersizing excruciating. If ANYONE wants to talk,,, please PLEASE email me, where I come from people don't have experience with this drug, they laugh at me. I just need someone to talk to that's experiencing what I am.

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