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DamTram's War on DXM

Dec 08, 2012 - 79 comments
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dxm

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dextromethorphan

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coricidin

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robitussin

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Hope

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EmilyPost's medhelp user journal saved me from Tramadol addiction, twice.

I am 1 year clean from Tramadol, today.

More importantly, I am 4 days clean of dextromethorphan aka DXM aka Robitussin aka a self-imposed prison.

Like Emily has done for thousands lost in the fight against Tramadol, I would like to provide a space for those who are losing their lives to DXM.  There's still time to fight, and we need to support one another.

This is NOT A SPACE to debate the 'merits' of DXM use.  Everyone is entitled to their 'psychonautic' opinion, but this is solely a place for those that disagree and want their lives, brains, bodies, and control returned to them.  Any comments supporting use of DXM will be removed.  Those who have fallen prey to this addiction are no longer eligible for your 'harm reduction' suggestions, at least not under my watch.

Everyone else: Welcome.  We have a lot of work to do.

A little bit about me: I am almost 30, I'm getting my PhD from a fantastic university, I'm a gal, I am single, I have a wonderful family, and I know way too much psychopharmacology and neuroscience.  Lastly, I requested to enter outpatient treatment for DXM abuse about a month and a half ago.  It's an amazing program, and I want to share what I'm learning with those that desire it.  

I started DXM in September when I had a terrible upper respiratory infection and took Robitussin, thinking nothing of it.  Because I am on fluoxetine (Prozac) for fibromyalgia management, I began TRIPPING BALLS.  

I had heard of robotripping in college, but I considered it an old wives' tale.

WRONG.

I thought tripping was fantastic, and enjoyed the rest of my Robitussin until my infection had cleared up.  I would wake up in the mornings still tripping, and would have a blast exercising and going to school and work.  I finished the bottle and moved on with life.

But I couldn't.  

Every few days, I would buy another bottle, drink half, trip, do it again the next night, then swear I would never do it, again.

Except, I would always find an excuse.  And when you THINK you're having a blast going to school and work still tripping, you are actually taking a sledgehammer to your life, creating cracks in the foundation and chipping away, until you realize that it has crumbled and there's very little left.  Negative interactions with colleagues, friends, guys, and my family all became excuses to use.  I would chug a bottle in less than 3 minutes.

After using DXM for 5 nights straight, I trudged my way to my pdoc appointment and told what I had been doing.  She further explained DXM's interaction with fluoxetine, made sure I understood that I was repeatedly inducing mild serotonin syndrome, and accepted my pleas to attend outpatient rehab.  Finally.  After being addicted to one thing or the other for, almost, all of my 20s.

I'm in a wonderful program that doesn't throw you out if you screw up.  If you screw up, you have to work EXTRA hard to figure out WHY, that time, and how it could've been prevented.  Yes, at first I was made fun of by the alcoholics, heroin addicts, cocaine addicts, crystal meth addicts, prescription pill addicts.  At first, there was embarrassment and shame.  Quickly, they realized I was in as deep as them.

Except I wasn't.  

They realized I was in even deeper.

I should have 38 days sober.  But I have about 77% of that.  I've relapsed ~4 times, always only for a day or two, but that's way more than anyone in my group.

Do you know why?

Of course you do.  That's why you're here.  Not the specifics, maybe (like my discovering Robitussin gel caps), but you know.  You know that it's a cheap *** drug that you can find in ANY grocery store or pharmacy on so, so many streets and corners.  There are no dealers.  There are no online pharmacies (there are, but those are easier to avoid).  There are commercials...during children's shows!  DURING EPISODES OF A&E INTERVENTION (my favorite show, when I couldn't get real help).  You don't even deal with any stigma from buying alcohol.  YOU VERY WELL COULD HAVE A COUGH, WHO REALLY KNOWS, AND ALMOST NO ONE CARES.

I care.  You care.  All of the teenagers who shared their stories on medhelp of their permanent brain damage - they care.  They are adults, now.  On psychiatric meds that they maybe wouldn't have needed.  Feeling less smart, less funny, less able to use their sight and language as they once could.  They definitely care, and we owe it to them to a) save ourselves, b) get better, so c) we can fight to spread support and awareness to help others out and, one day, raise enough awareness to do something about this.

Because, as you know, something is VERY, VERY WRONG, here.  There ARE long-term effects.  There IS permanent damage from HEAVY, CHRONIC abuse.  There HAVE been suicides.  Just because DXM isn't used to make meth doesn't mean it SHOULDN'T be behind the counter, away from those with histories of addiction and from CHILDREN who heard they could trip 'like on acid'.  FOR FIVE DOLLARS.  It shouldn't be advertised during prime time, PARTICULARLY DURING SHOWS ABOUT ENDING ADDICTION.  

Talk about a world of triggers!

So, if you need a listening eye, if you have questions, if you feel you can't handle this anymore, or if you feel like joining this fight, leave it in the comments.  I will be documenting my crawl out of this hole, in the hopes that, one day, someone stumbles upon it and does the same.



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1571878_tn?1354953383
by DamTram, Dec 08, 2012
Make that one year today, y'all!

1571878_tn?1354953383
by DamTram, Dec 08, 2012
And 4.

1571878_tn?1354953383
by DamTram, Dec 08, 2012
And 39.

1571878_tn?1354953383
by DamTram, Dec 08, 2012
(last tracker is for MMJ, which I used for 10 months, starting in January)

1571878_tn?1354953383
by DamTram, Dec 08, 2012
HAPPY 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY TO MEEEEEEEEE!

Next.

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by bahamamama13165, Dec 08, 2012
Thanks for writing about your experience.  I'm 39 and have been addicted to one thing or another most of my adult life. I've been heavily using DXM for about 10 months.  It truly feels like being trapped in an emotional prison.  I want out.  I actually just talked to my old sponsor, who introduced me to AA years ago.  She's picking me up tomm. To go to a meeting.  But I do feel there are very few people that understand DXM addiction and the strange hold it can get on you.  Right now, I've taken a small dose (for me) to help with withdrawal. So, today I've had 12 robo gel caps(15 mg each) but my muscles still feel like bricks and I feel like I'm suffocating.  I usually take a whole bottle of gel caps(20) and then 2-3 Mucinex 60 MSG extended release daily. So my body has quite a tolerance right now.  I'd love to hear how your doing and what your withdrawal symptoms were/are.  I also take 40mg Prozac daily.

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by DamTram, Dec 08, 2012
Hello, Bahama!  I am so sorry you are in this, too, but I am so glad that we have found each other.  We are going to get out of this and STAY out of it.

I am SO happy you already have a sponsor and that she is taking you to a meeting.  Part of my issue, in the past, is that I'm agnostic/borderline atheist and I couldn't succed with the NA format, because of it.  There is a cognitive-behavioral, non 12-step option called Smart Recovery to which I was recommended by my program.  I hope you're near a city and look into it. :)

We are not allowed to get discontinuation advice on medhelp, but instead may share what has worked for us and others.  With the hellish drug that is Tramadol (which essentially Vicodin and crystal meth, rolled into one), those who tapered down had the same long, painful physical withdrawal as those of us that quit cold turkey.  Having survived that, I can tell you that my experiences stopping DXM were WALKS IN THE PARK.  From all of the reading and research I've done, it seems the longer you continue ingesting DXM (regardless of the dose, as with tapering), the more long-term damage you are doing to your eyesight, hearing, short-term memory, balance, and sense of self.  The fact that you've only used for 10 months is great - so much less potential damage than years of DXM abuse.  

WHAT WORKED FOR ME has been the support of my psychiatrist and psychologist, the work and learning I'm doing in the outpatient program, and beginning Wellbutrin after 'drying out' for 2 days from DXM.  Prior to the Wellbutrin, as I mentioned, I relapsed several times since starting treatment.  I had gone cold turkey, would succeed anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks, but then I would experience one trigger or another and use.  THE GOOD NEWS IS, every time I stopped, dried out, and went back for more, it made my trips WORSE and WORSE.  Once you get a taste of the world you once lived in, you hate yourself even more each time you use.  This makes for very, very, VERY bad feelings when high.  The last time I used (5 nights ago), I became suicidal and was literally forcing myself all of the reasons to try to get sober one. more. time.  The next day, I requested Wellbutrin.  I waited until 2 days ago to start taking it and LET ME SAY that the cravings were 100% gone by last night.  I'm aware that Prozac + Wellbutrin + DXM = guaranteed seizure, possible coma, and probable permanent damage.  This has helped me not turn back, as well.

Identifying my triggers, and then avoiding them, has been one of the most important acts on my road to recovery.  I have low self-esteem, so any form of rejection makes me want to disappear.  Boredom FOR SURE makes me want to use (I haven't had a single bored sensation since starting the Wellbutrin).  This means that I can't be dating right now, can't have friendships that are tumultuous (including some family members), and have to schedule my days at least 48 hours ahead of time.

Did you know that it's impossible to stick to schedules if you are addict?  I did not.  Even if I've scheduled tasks and events, I learned that I have to have a plan b and plan c, JUST IN CASE plan a ends early/doesn't work out.  This has helped, immensely.  

I also have been totally honest about my abuse with my mother, my father, and my closest friend/neighbor.  This has helped me to 1) have people to contact when I've been triggered and 2) be accountable.  Accountability is HUUUUUUGE with this drug BECAUSE it is so easy to get and because it can be an embarrassing drug to admit to abusing.  The latter MUST be gotten over.  This is a SERIOUSLY addictive substance with ENORMOUS and long-term consequences, so you need to do whatever and tell whomever you thing can help you succeed in taking your life back.

It's only been 5 days for me, but the changes to my vision are still very disconcerting.  One of the Tramadol warriors with a lot of background in psychopharmacology suggested that, for ex DXM abusers, FISH OIL, FISH OIL, FISH OIL will help to repair some of the damage done to our brains.  I am taking fish oil and a separate omega-3 blend and keeping my fingers crossed.

The number one obstacle to getting off and staying off of this satanic substance is NOT BEING DEFEATED BY THE DEPRESSION AND PSYCHOLOGICAL WEIRDNESS that occurs upon discontinuation.  Even though I didn't use constantly, or even consistently, I never recovered enough to feel like I had my brain and identity back for the last 3 months.  We have been disconnected from ourselves, others, time, and space.  The depersonalization you get from DXM is a whole lot more disturbing when it sticks around when sober.  In my opinion, the inability to manage and cope with the depersonalization is what drives DXM users to go back again, again, and again.  It's weird, it's scary, and I don't know how I would've done it alone.

BUT IT FADES.  Little by little, so that the process is almost undetectable.  But it fades gradually and you'll start to randomly notice a difference in how you felt days or weeks before.  It helps to have others reinforce this by reminding you of your improvements.

I am finishing day 5, and it was a good day.  I went to an Italian book club and was ashamed by how slow my brain was to produce the Italian language.  I eventually chose just to listen, was grateful that I still had the cognitive capacity to do that, and reminded myself that my brain is still recovering.  I am happy knowing that I will sleep normally, tonight, and that I won't be ***** the **** up when I wake.  

Again, I am so thankful for finding you!  If you ever feel like it would be easier to talk on the phone or Skype, send me a PM and I'll give you my info.  

Good luck tomorrow, and be well!

<3 <3 <3

544292_tn?1268886268
by EmilyPost, Dec 09, 2012
Aw!  I wanted to just drop by and say that you have my support friend.  It's good to see you and read these thoughts, words, plans.  You will help so many people!

Massive hugs.

Really interesting info ...



1571878_tn?1354953383
by DamTram, Dec 09, 2012
Thank you, Emily!  You already know that you are my (et al.) hero.  Massive hugs right back.  I was *so* out of it for so long that I never even THOUGHT to come to medhelp, let alone turn my anger at DXM outward.  Rallying feels SO good, just as in Tramadol recovery (which, btw, HOW IS IT STILL NOT ILLEGAL?!), and I will get this drug put BEHIND the counter if it's the last thing I do.

I am another day out of DXM-delirium, making it 5 whole days.  I woke up this morning freaking out, took my Wellbutrin, and things started to turn around.  I knew Wellbutrin helps people to quit smoking (which is one of the reasons I wanted to start it), but when I found out that it is a DOPAMINE and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, I began to wonder if it would in the inexplicable COMPULSION to keep returning to DXM.  I'm only one person, but it has been an ENORMOUS help in beginning my journey in rebuilding self-efficacy.  Also, the DXM depression is what crushes us during cessation, so it helps not to feel sad and, instead, forward-focused.  It was the introduction of Wellbutrin to my system that finally allowed my brain to focus enough to REMEMBER medhelp, to focus on reading entry after entry without feeling triggered, and to get SO ACTIVATED AND ANGRY to rally and start my own war cry.

The bottom line is: I am attending a TOP addiction-research R1 university and, therefore, see the top psychologists, psychiatrists, and other medical professional.  This means that my cognitive-behavioral outpatient program is the best of its kind.  Yet, ABSOLUTELY NO ONE HAS ANY IDEA HOW TO TREAT THIS UNIQUE ADDICTION.  We are ON OUR OWN, for now.
And for those of you considering AA or NA or Smart Recovery and fear the ridicule by other addicts for 'only being addicted to cough medicine', you have three choices:

1) simply say you are addicted to 'dissociatives'.  It is true, and it's no one's darn business whether it's ketamine, PCP, DXM, or whatever.  Those details are for your friends, loved ones, and one-on-one mental and primary care health health providers.

2) tell the truth, let them laugh and whisper behind your back, but KEEP GOING BACK, continue telling the deep, deep darkness of this addiction.  This is how progress in awareness is made.  Temporary, personal frustration leads to long-lasting changes for future generations.

3) fall deeper into this abyss, do further damage to your liver, kidneys, vision, hearing, motor control, self-worse, self-efficacy, sense of self, and MOST LIKELY your friends, family, and others who need you...even if the DXM delusions want you to think that they do not.  This is your last choice, the one where you do not seek free and available help and support IN PERSON.  One of the hallmarks of DXM addiction is our reclusion from the physical world.  Receiving electronic support is A GREAT FIRST STEP, but to fight the fight against depersonalization, derealization, and desensitization the come from DXM abuse, we have GOT to find support in the outside, physical world.  I'm not convinced that recovery, otherwise, is likely, if possible.

All of this said, my mother is contacting a family friend who is a prominent personal injury attorney.  My rallying has enraged her, too (she has been through too much with me :| ), and she suggested I have a strong case.  I stumbled upon the effects of this drug after 9 months of recovery from Tramadol, WHEN I HAD A CHEST INFECTION, not knowing 1) there was addictive potential in a drug advertised since childhood and DURING A&E INTERVENTION and 2) had medically proven SERIOUS interaction effects with my mood stabilizer (Prozac) NOT MENTIONED ON THE LABEL.  I was so happy to be living an addiction free-life, with the option of MMJ when my fibro was unbearable.  I NEVER WOULD HAVE INGESTED IT HAD I KNOWN EITHER OF THESE THINGS.  

But the fact is, DXM is a HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE money maker, and the manufacturers (and A&E) are well aware of its potential for abuse and subsequent LONG-TERM BRAIN DAMAGE.  Because it is not used to make a drug that wrecks too much havoc on society (i.e., meth), it continues to stay on the shelf in MOST cities and towns and roll in the cash.

At the cost of children, teenagers, men, and women.  

It is not fair, and it is not okay.

As I said, getting this drug put BEHIND the counter in ALL stores in this country (US) will happen, if it's the last thing I do.

I am so mad.  SO MAD.

/rant over

1571878_tn?1354953383
by DamTram, Dec 09, 2012
In trying to figure out my vision issues (sad fact, it's probably the Wellbutrin Prozac combo), I found this personal experience:

" I went to school and told the kids (I teach high school) and they were like hee hee b/c little did I know that taking lots of cough medicine is a recreational drug for some of them.  Ay, the things you learn as a high school teacher!  The effect was much more pronounced and was more like a slo-mo video instead of shadows/enhanced brightness but both were odd vision changes."

:|

1571878_tn?1354953383
by DamTram, Dec 09, 2012
And this (UUUUUUUUUUUUGHGH):

"Incidentally, dextromethorphan is metabolized specifically by the liver enzyme that Wellbutrin shuts down. It becomes very easy to overshoot the dosage and very hard to get your head cleared again, no matter how much your cough was bothering you.

The same version of the P450 enzyme (isoenzyme 2D6) is also needed to metabolize Wellbutrin and Prozac,  and both inhibit it. So either one can raise the blood levels of the other (and Wellbutrin is functionally synergistic with stimulants.)  A doctor can still use the two meds and compensate by starting at lower dosages and increasing slowly while the liver produces enough of the right enzymes to deal with the meds ...  but it sounds like you restarted at the full dose instead.   The resulting "trippy" effects could have come from excess serotonin and activation of the serotonin receptors that many hallucinogens bind to.  Or, they could have been a sign that the Wellbutrin was lowering your seizure threshold too much.

1571878_tn?1354953383
by DamTram, Dec 09, 2012
BY THE WAY, I have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.  

That said, it sounds like I'll have to stop the Wellbutrin.  Which is terrifying.  I am scared of a relapse when the cravings come back.  :'(

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by addict4life, Dec 09, 2012
I have been addicted to dxm the better part of the last 6 yrs,  i usually take the coricidin cough and cold well, the off brand that they sell at the dollar store because its only $2 and has the same amount of dex. which is a big reason i cant get off the sh*t because its so cheap and easy to get. i take anywhere from 20-40 pills a day 30mg each pill and at the end of every night i swear i wont get anymore the next day but i always do. i dont know why theres always some excuse. today ihave a bad toothache so i took 20 for the first dose now i cant feel my toothache. i do want to join the rest of the world and have normal conversations but i dont know where to start....or how to stick to it...

1571878_tn?1354953383
by DamTram, Dec 09, 2012
Welcome, Life!

To begin, does anyone know of your addiction who is NOT addicted, themselves?  Seeking someone for both support and to whom you can be accountable is HUUUUGE.  This is vital, in your case, because the other ingredient in Coricidin (and off brand) interacts with DXM at high doses to cause cardiac arrest, in addition to brain damage.  You need someone to help you.

Do you have insurance?  Parents who can help?  If you don't, I would get yourself to an emergency, ASAP.  Under the Affordable Care Act, your treatment will be covered, one way orthe other.  If you don't have anyone to help you get there, please try.  You need medical attention, even if the DXM makes you think you don't, and you need it, now.  Be honest about how much, often, and long you have been taking this.

The question becomes...do you want to continue like this, for the short time your heart will allow it?  Or would you rather get help, get stable, return to life and, possibly, owe some money (like everyone else)?

You need to start by telling someone and getting immediately to a hospital. If you could've stopped taking it without help from others, you would've done it years ago. But you can't, because this is SERIOUSLY MESSED UP **** that took over your mind a long time ago, **** that has made SURE that you would never get out on your own.

So, of those options, what will you do?

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by bahamamama13165, Dec 09, 2012
Hey DamTram,
  I have heard of smart recovery.  But I live in a little tiny town.,all we have is AA and NA.  Mostly AA, there is only 1 NA meeting a week. Right now I'm waiting for my sponsor to pick me up and go to a meeting.  I',m having major anxiety at the moment. That is one of my triggers. But I think the DXM is giving me heart palpitations. Yes. I took some today. trying to ween myself off but cold turkey may be they way to go.
  I also have low self esteem, which I think is my main trigger.  Thats so great you  have a psychologist and a psychiatrist.  I would really like to be able to go that route but my insurance doesn't cover it.  You mentioned your eyesight being effected.  I didn't know DMX can damage your eyesight and hearing. Also, how did you know that you have fatty liver disease?  Do you think it was caused by drug abuse?
Its nice to see 4LIFE come here. I know she wants out of DXM hell as well.

1571878_tn?1354953383
by DamTram, Dec 09, 2012
I hope the meeting goes well, Bahama!  You may be feeling badly, but your spirit sounds great.  

Your insurance may not cover it, but if you end up in the ER and you are referred, they aren't going to have a choice.  Like I told 4Life, going into debt (which I am almost certain will no longer happen) to save your life has GOT to be the better choice (for you AND your children) than continuing to live this way...for the time that your heart will still allow it.

I am $2k in debt from when I did NOT have insurance and needed to be seeing a psychiatrist.  They have payment plans and sliding scales, so you pay what you can afford, when you can afford it.

If I found myself in deep DXM addiction without insurance, I would go 100k in debt.  If I had children, I would know that my survival as their mother would be the best thing I could provide for them.

That's great that you are identifying your triggers!  The next step is to have plans in place to avoid them.  What activates your low self-esteem?

I have NOT been doing well, today.  I thought I was going to faint or have a seizure at the grocery store.  Driving was terrifying.  No more Wellbutrin for me.

I found out I had a fatty liver before I became addicted to Tramadol.  I found out because I ended up in the hospital with severe flank pain.  I also have painful bladder syndrome, so DXM really ruined me further, on both accounts.

You can do this.  We can do this.  One. Day. At. A. Time.  As they say at my program, "Be smart, not strong."

1571878_tn?1354953383
by DamTram, Dec 09, 2012
Given that ketamine is the closest drug to DXM, replace the word to this information on how to get sober from a dissociative:

"Detoxification may necessary in extreme cases of ketamine addiction. Detox programs are in-patient and address the body’s physical dependence on the drug. However, many ketamine users need additional therapy in order to treat the reasons that they’d begun using the drug in the first place.
Treatment will vary from one patient to the next, especially if other psychological or emotional conditions are present, but rates of recurring ketamine use are much lower for addicts who use a treatment centre, therapist, or doctor as opposed to addicts who attempt to stop using the drug “cold turkey.”
On-going treatment will help to prevent a ketamine addict from seeking access to the drug, so all ketamine addiction treatment centres should have long-term options for their patients. You should look for a centre that is approved by an organization such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Narcotics Anonymous and similar organizations will also provide information for friends, family members, and other loved ones who need help in convincing a ketamine addict, who has for years used the drug as a means of escape, to seek treatment.
Ketamine addiction treatment can be extremely effective, and as the drug is potentially lethal, treating the addiction by contacting a drug abuse centre is imperative. Ketamine addiction requires the right combination of detoxification and therapy, and a trained medical professional can help you or loved one to start on the road to recovery."

We have been escaping for months or years.  Cold Turkey without professional help is lower than with.  We need help, we cannot do it on our own.

Avatar_f_tn
by addict4life, Dec 10, 2012
I have insurance and have seen the dr explaining what ihad been taking and that id like to stop. idont think he tookit too seriously but prescribed me lisinopril for my high bp which isnt helping because of the cough and cold and also cymbalta 60mgs im not sure if thats working because i never stop the pills long enough to see. im pretty sure it doesnt workas ive been on prozac, lexapro, wellabutrin, and i think a cpl others i cant think of right now. anyway, ive never had any luck with them. im sure i need some sort of counseling and i actually had the opprotunity to get it because at the moment im dealing with cps because i smoked marijuana while pregnant. they made me do a substance abuse eval and speak with mental health but there was no way i was going into too much detail with cps involved. so after this blows over i will try to seek some counseling. Also once im able to smoke marijuana again without fear of being tested i think it will make quitting the cough and cold easier. not that i should be smoking but id much rather do that than these pills. it has always helped with my depression and anxiety. i have only 1 box left that i will take today and i am seriously going to not buy more. i hope. my bf is addicted also which i just finally got him to admit to, before he always said he only took them because i did, but now he realizes and wants to quit to. i know you mentioned cold turkey is not the way to go but ive managed to quit each time i was pregnant so im going to give it a shot...also my i did tell my mom about it buti dont think she really took it seriously either...if she did she should know im back on them i dont see how she cant notice the difference i guess ive just gotten really good at acting normal on it except for my conversation skills and the spacing out, and the sweating sometimes....anyway, i could go on and on but i hope that being a part of this group will help make it easier, thanks for being here!

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by addict4life, Dec 10, 2012
oh yea i wanted to mention that i had heart palipitations also and was put on a heart moniter and had some tests done and luckily everything seemed fine. it use to be id get them several times throughout the day i notice they arent as frequent anymore maybe once a day or so. im not sure why. also my eyesight has gotten much worse over the past few yrs. i normally wear contacts or glasses so i get regular checkups every yr andmy optometrist said its really gone downhill. im also starting to have major problems with my teeth not sure if thats related.

1571878_tn?1354953383
by DamTram, Dec 10, 2012
4life!

What a difference a day makes!!!  I'm SO HAPPY to hear that your BF was able to admit his addiction (this will be INVALUABLE), that your mom knows some of your history (honestly, send or print her my story, she WILL take you seriously, now...sometimes parents have to see how it has affected other folks), that you DO have insurance, that you recognize that you're self-medicating true and real psychological issues that can be addressed, and that you are posting with us!!  You have made my day, and I have only just woken up.

Here's the thing about antidepressants that I DID NOT KNOW until a month ago.  Smoking marijuana or dosing with DXM actually PREVENTS them from doing their job.  I did not believe this until I STOPPED a year's use of marijuana (I had also been on Prozac most of that year), and I felt SO MUCH BETTER.  DXM is harder, obviously, because of the cravings that follow, which doesn't happen with marijuana.  If I were you, I would stop everything but the Cymbalta and see if it starts to work, finally, after a few weeks.  You definitely CANNOT stop an AD cold turkey, as I'm sure you know, or you WILL end up in the ER not having meant to be there.

I'm so sorry about your eyes.  It sounds like some of your vision will be restored, over time, from what I'm reading.  The teeth are generally related because 1) of the ingredients in Coricidin, 2) they weren't getting the nutrients they needed, because who can take care of themselves on DXM?, 3) we tend to grind on DXM, and 4) we often forget to (or can't, physically) brush and floss often enough.  Teeth can be fixed!

I AM SO PROUD OF US!  I can't wait to hear how your days go.  Please check in!

As for me, I woke up in the night WITHOUT palpitations for the first time in 4 days, so chose not to continue the Wellbutrin.  My eyes and my brain already feel way better.  I have an action plan, should I be triggered by a craving, so that I will not ruin my 7th day of sobriety.

REALLY BIG HUGS!

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by bahamamama13165, Dec 10, 2012
Congrats on making it to day 7 DamTram. I haven't really started counting days yet but today I just took one Mucinex. 60mgs of DMX in that.  Nothing really, Hel l, that is the actual dose your suppose to take.  But I was hoping it would take the edge of some of the physical symptoms.  Not sure if that's actually working.  My muscles are really cramping and I have a major sinus headache.  Fortunately, I won't have trouble staying busy today.  I have to drive an hour into town to pick my husband up at the airport. Then back here to lead a craft activity for my daughters group, Nature girls.  NA meeting 7 pm tonight.  I plan on taking Tylenol pm tonight to sleep and my friend is making me an herbal tea with Valerian.  I hope drinking that threw the day helps with my anxiety. I have 4 Mucinex pills left in my box. I'm thinking one a day to help with headache and than NO more.  It ***** they are so easy to get.  I do have cravings today.  I even have cravings to drink alcohol.  I get mad that everyone else gets to celebrate the holidays with cocktails.  But alcohol and me are not friends :-)

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by DamTram, Dec 10, 2012
Congratulations, Bahama!!!!  You sound great and I am so inspired by you.  I definitely think taking the labeled dose of tylenol pm to help with sleep in the beginning is fine.  We know we have to watch ourselves carefully. :)

Valerian is really good for anxiety.  GABA (another supplement that you would have to order online, most likely) was VERY HELPFUL for the muscle pain during tramadol wirhdrawal.  Worth looking into?

In terms of the physical withdrawal, keep trying to remind yourself that a lot of it is the dxm trying to convince you to have them.  You have them, obviously, but trust me when I say that they won't last long and are not as unbearable as, say, TRAMADOL withdrawal.  The fact that dxm withdrawal is NOT very painful is one of the reasons we HAVEN'T gotten better.  Tramadol withdrawal is so ******* awful and hard on your system that it is just not something you can handle more than a few times.  Also, if dxm withdrawal were more physically threatening, IT WOULD BE TAKEN MORE SERIOUSLY BY THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY.

But, let's take what blessings we can and be grateful that we will have our bodies back fairly easily.

As for alcohol, I am waiting for the bus to school and I am singing to a man who is having a very in-depth conversation with his suitcase while downing a can with some weird kind of cheap alcohol in it.  Both he and the can smell awful.  You guys, we are stopping before psychosis sets in, and for dxm psychosis, PLEASE look up the video for the A&E episode on Ben, whose life was ruined by dxm.

We still have hope.

It's time to get angry.  Angry at the drug, angry at the companies, angry at the shows, billboards, and magazine that run ads for them, angry at the stores that won't put them behind counters, and angry for the people who didn't get to regain control of their lives because of it.  It's time to take the anger we have been turning in on ourselves and let it the **** out.  Only then will we win.

Be smart, not strong.  Love you, friends!

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by DamTram, Dec 10, 2012
Congratulations, Bahama!!!!  You sound great and I am so inspired by you.  I definitely think taking the labeled dose of tylenol pm to help with sleep in the beginning is fine.  We know we have to watch ourselves carefully. :)

Valerian is really good for anxiety.  GABA (another supplement that you would have to order online, most likely) was VERY HELPFUL for the muscle pain during tramadol wirhdrawal.  Worth looking into?

In terms of the physical withdrawal, keep trying to remind yourself that a lot of it is the dxm trying to convince you to have them.  You have them, obviously, but trust me when I say that they won't last long and are not as unbearable as, say, TRAMADOL withdrawal.  The fact that dxm withdrawal is NOT very painful is one of the reasons we HAVEN'T gotten better.  Tramadol withdrawal is so ******* awful and hard on your system that it is just not something you can handle more than a few times.  Also, if dxm withdrawal were more physically threatening, IT WOULD BE TAKEN MORE SERIOUSLY BY THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY.

But, let's take what blessings we can and be grateful that we will have our bodies back fairly easily.

As for alcohol, I am waiting for the bus to school and I am singing to a man who is having a very in-depth conversation with his suitcase while downing a can with some weird kind of cheap alcohol in it.  Both he and the can smell awful.  You guys, we are stopping before psychosis sets in, and for dxm psychosis, PLEASE look up the video for the A&E episode on Ben, whose life was ruined by dxm.

We still have hope.

It's time to get angry.  Angry at the drug, angry at the companies, angry at the shows, billboards, and magazine that run ads for them, angry at the stores that won't put them behind counters, and angry for the people who didn't get to regain control of their lives because of it.  It's time to take the anger we have been turning in on ourselves and let it the **** out.  Only then will we win.

Be smart, not strong.  Love you, friends!

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by DamTram, Dec 10, 2012
4Life: I got an email that you posted, but there is nothing her.  :(

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by addict4life, Dec 10, 2012
thats weird cuz i didnt send anything that i know of LOL


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by DamTram, Dec 10, 2012
So weird!  How are you?

I HAVE GREAT NEWS: the vision and hearing crap was from the Wellbutrin, NOT the DXM.  Everyone else will hopefully have dodged those bullets, too.  My brain is so much back,and I am so relieved.  YOU GUYS HAVE GOT TO JOIN ME, THIS IS GREAT.  I went to group tonight and everything felt different.  You guys are helping to save me, whether you know it or not.  Just by posting.  Just by being here.  Just by making me not alone, anymore.  And already seeming like you've stepped on to the road to recovery. :)

I asked my group leader for any information on how to get and maintain sobriety the dissociative class of drugs.  She is going to meet with her team and get back to Keon Thursday.  Our battle is clearly a very unique one.  

7 days, 7 days!

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by addict4life, Dec 11, 2012
Im ok i guess. i found a few that i misplaced, only 6, but i took them, and now there arent any in the house i have a pretty busy evening so im hoping that will keep my mind off them. I hope you are doing well!!

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by DamTram, Dec 12, 2012
Thanks, 4Life!  I was paralyzed with a 10 hour migraine, today (thanks, Wellbutrin, and good riddance!!).  I just got back from the drugstore for Excedrin, which is obviously in the same aisle Deathtromethorphan, and WHAT DID I SEE?  ******* DXM marketed as 'natural' products!!  One by Vicks and one by some weird company with a HAPPY CARTOON BUMBLEBEE ON IT.  I took pictures and sent them to my mom with some very belligerent texts.  WILL NO ONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?! :(((((

How are holding up without?  I hope you get to dry up, a little.  If we relapse, we MUST think LONG and HARD about WHY, precisely, and how it could've been avoided.  Then, we must try again.  Whatever happens, the most important thing is that we keep coming back here, posting, and gain strength from each other?

Bahama?  How are things?

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by DamTram, Dec 12, 2012
Must make it to 14 days...must...is my personal record...must beat it.

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by rainallday, Dec 12, 2012
Hello DamTram, stumbled in here from your link on the other board, congrats on all your trying to do!!!
Keep up the good work!! I'm hoping your persistence will bring you success and freedom from all addictions!!

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by bahamamama13165, Dec 13, 2012
Well tapering down was not something I could stick with. I ended up doing a bunch.  But today I went CT. I've felt like hell all day and I can't wait until I can take some tylenol pm and get the day over with.  Only about 3 more hours to go. Hopefully tomorrow will be easier.  I don't have any in the house and I'm planning on staying in my house all day tommorrow too.  

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by addict4life, Dec 14, 2012
OK.... So I'm finally on day 1.....wish me luck! so far so good.....

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by bahamamama13165, Dec 14, 2012
Good luck 4life! I''m on day 2. Feel like crap but I'm happy I made it this far.  it's pathetic but I haven't been on day 2 of sobriety in over 10 months.  If we stick with this we should be over the rough physical stuff my Christmas and thinking clear headed.

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by DamTram, Dec 14, 2012
OMG, BAHAMA, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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by DamTram, Dec 14, 2012
Ahhhh congratulations, 4Life!!!  Keep posting!!

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by addict4life, Dec 14, 2012
thanks! im feeling pretty good about it this time!! ive been on edge forthe past hr or so and extremely tired but holding steady! we CAN do this!!!

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by DamTram, Dec 14, 2012
WE CAN AND WE WILL!!  What symptoms are you having?  Sometimes it helps just to come on here and bark about it.  What kind of thoughts are you having?

I'm going to survive day 11!  This is the longest since I've entered recovery.  Can't wait for 2 whole weeks!  Having control feels good, y'all.

On guilt and shame (from last night):

Guilt - bad feelings about things you've done/do (e.g. Ignoring phone calls from friends)

Shame - bad feeling about who you ARE (e.g. I'm worthless, what is wrong with me, etc.)

You do not get better by being strong.  You do not get better by using willpower.

You get better by being smart (e.g., staying out of the store aisles that trigger you)..  You get better by working hard (e.g., finding ways to treat yourself/cope that don't hurt you).

SO, yeah.  Willpower won't work, so that's out.  We are also not weak.  What can we do to be smart and work hard?

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by bahamamama13165, Dec 14, 2012
I'm glad to be close to ending day2.  Feel about the same as day 1, with the added pleasure of diarrhea.  Feel really listless, no energy.  The muscle pain may be better but my head ache is worse.  I really need to go grocery shopping tommorrow but I'm afraid of getting that close to the pills.  I have to bring my girls to birthday party tommorrow and that might be about all I can handle.
4life has your boyfriend quit too? How's he doing?

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by addict4life, Dec 14, 2012
yep we are both quitting. we r kinda bickering back an forth but we know it will get better. pretty tired. had to babysit my brothers kids ages 2 and 3 on top of my 4 its been crazy stressful but we r standing strong!

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by DamTram, Dec 14, 2012
Bahama, I am so glad that the muscle pain isn't intolerable!  What I remember most is sleeping and sleeping.  The headaches go away, quickly.  The diarrhea, too.  Just a day or two.  Remember: that part is the DXM leaving your body.  Once your kidneys are allowed to regain control, you'll be losing water weight. :) PUMP FLUIDS, and the toxins will leave even faster.  DXM is stored in fat cells, so the healthier you can eat, the better: whole grains, fruits and veggies, lean meat, low dairy, low sugar, and low sodium.  You're about to feel SO much better!  Is there anyone that can go shopping with you, who you won't buy pills in front of?  Kiddos?  Go easy on yourself - I'm sure a birthday party with children is MORE than enough!

4life - I'm so glad your bf is kicking, too!  As everyone starts to feel better, the bickering will die down.  Those first few days can get pretty emotional...we haven't had normal feelings in a long time.  That's a lot of kiddos!  Bless you for working so hard.

I work in education, so hearing the unfolding of the dead children, teachers, principal, and psychologist was very difficult, today.  I had my first craving in awhile. I thought I was dunzo, but then decided to try doing smart things...reading your posts, calling my mom (just to talk, not to tell her I was craving), until I was tired enough to be like, 'I AM TIRED AND HUNGRY, IT IS TIME FOR DINNER AND BED'.  I don't think I would be doing anyone any justice by escaping/hurting myself, anyway.  Just the opposite.  So, I conclude day 11.  With a heavy heart.  And that's okay.

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by bahamamama13165, Dec 15, 2012
Ok, here we go day 3.  I was having a pity party because I was thinking I'd feel completely better by now.  But after I took a hot shower I feel better. All the physical symptoms are still there but much better.  The worst part today is the depressed feeling.  Feeling like I'll never be happy again without pills.

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by DamTram, Dec 15, 2012
Not only WILL you be happy without them, but you were never happy on them.  Truth    Soooo glad the shower helped!M

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by addict4life, Dec 15, 2012
DAY 2....feeling overwhelmed with all these kids here again....feeling exhausted and very depressed also but hanging in there...going to blast the music and clean the house, try to distract myself...gotta keep possitive....gotta keep on keepin' on....

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by DamTram, Dec 15, 2012
MUSIC SHALL SAVE US ALL!  Congratulations, 4life!!  What are you listening to?

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by addict4life, Dec 15, 2012
Pink lol i love pink


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by DamTram, Dec 15, 2012
Perfect!  Rock on, sister friend!

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by addict4life, Dec 31, 2012
i might be an *** for assuming this but im guessing none of us are doing well at gettin off the dex...since nobody has commented lately. but today IS my last day i AM ready to kick this crap to the CURB!....whos with me??


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by DamTram, Dec 31, 2012
I definitely relapsed (twice, as in...two binges), but yesterday was my last day and I feel SOOOOO much better!!  I finally went to my first SMART Recovery meeting, and it was amazing.  My counselor at my outpatient program told me that if I really can't get traction, then I will need inpatient. =(  We can do this, you guys.  The holidays are over, the New Year is coming, and ANY DRUG can be kicked, including this one.  We're going to do it.

4Life, send me a message if you want me to send my cell phone #, should you ever feel you are going to crap and need someone to yell at/yell at you via text/call.  And, if possible, get to an AA or NA meeting!

I'm so glad you're back!!!

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by addict4life, Dec 31, 2012
i havent taken a day off since i dont even know when but i just feel it. idk. i can just tell that i am soooo ready to get my life back! i have a grant waiting on me at the community college all i have to do is turn in some papers...im going to do this! i NEED to do this....i know i ambetter than this, i know i can rise above it all...its just that first step, first few steps actually but i want out of this HELL. 2 boxes of coricidin a day is not a life i want to live...i know im better than this crap regardless of what others think or what i have made myself believe...I KNOW I AM SMART ENOUGH TO QUIT THIS SELF DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR....because thats all it really is....it DOES NOT OVERPOWER ME!! I AM IN CHARGE OF MY LIFE FROM HERE ON OUT!

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by DamTram, Dec 31, 2012
OHHHHH, YELL IT OUT, SISTER!!!  I'm so proud of you!!!  

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by DamTram, Dec 31, 2012
What I learned is: people with supportive family are more likely to recover and HERE IS WHY.  If someone who loves us has never given up on us, how can we have the nerve to give up on ourselves?  Contrarily, if we feel that everyone has given up on us, it is very difficult to not want to give up on ourselves.  BUT THAT EXCUSE IS JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH!  Recognize that you WILL NOT give up on you, that there are others here who WILL NOT give up on you, and we will get through this.  I promise not to disappear, again.  I was too ashamed to say I'd relapsed since I'm the one who started this **** journal.  But, now you know, so I will always be here! =P

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by DamTram, Jan 05, 2013
Hello, friends, both present and future:

I am on my 7th day without DXM, and Thursday was my last day of outpatient rehab (thanks, insurance).  I went to my first Smart Recovery meeting last Saturday and met some wonderful people who are further along in recovery who gave me their numbers to call, just in case.  

On New Years' Eve, I had a very close call when I my early-to-bed night was subjected to neighbors jumping, yelling, and playing bass.  I was asleep, prior, so this was very jarring.  It was 11:45pm, so then I had to get all extra sad that I was alone, in bed, 15 minutes before midnight.  I tried reaching out to my father (a recovered alcoholic), but couldn't get him.  I didn't know what to do, since I didn't want to call anyone else and have them ring in the new year by trying to get me not to use DXM.  Finally, I was able to type 'uuuuuugh' into a text message to a woman I had met from Smart Recovery.  I could barely send it!  My stupid lizard-drug-craving brain was like, 'If you press send, you won't be able to use...', but I somehow managed to hit send.  

She responded right away!  She asked me where I was, what had happened, and started trying to help me figure out how to get through the craving.  Eventually, I remembered that my counselor had said that in early recovery, it might be okay for me to knock myself out with Benadryl at these points (this is not advice to anyone but me), if that's what stops me from getting into the car and driving to CVS to buy DXM.  I found some Dramamine (essentially the same thing), told my friend that I would take that, and let her go to sleep.

Next to the Dramamine was my Wellbutrin (which I haven't taken in weeks, since it was messing up my vision), and I remembered that it had helped my cravings.  I took the Dramamine and that and, I SWEAR TO YOU, within in 10 minutes, I was minding my business on the couch like nothing had happened.  The next night, something happened and I was triggered again.  I went straight to the Wellbutrin and, again, was okay within 10 minutes.

I'm now on my own for recovery.  I will still see my psychologist once a week (which is the biggest blessing), and I will go to Smart Recovery meetings every Saturday.  On Wednesday nights, I will be going to my program's "After-Care", where the 'graduates' from the program get together one a week to check in with each other.  So, not really on my own, but I no longer have the safety net of structured recovery and accountability for showing up.  

I'm worried, but I also feel like I'm ready.  I've learned so much, and I can never go back to chronic use.  New Years' Eve was a turning point, and here is what I learned:

1) When you have a craving, you do not have access to your higher brain (reasoning, decision-making) or even your mid-brain (dog and horsey rain), where you can access feelings of love, shame, remorse, etc.  You have access to almost nothing but your lower, lizard-brain, which is fight or flight.  During a craving, we are used to flighting, not fighting.  We are used to running to the drug and escaping the craving.  I decided to try to fight, this time, and it was REALLY ****ING HARD.  

2) When I was able to hit 'send', though, and my friend wrote back, all of a sudden I had access to my mid-brain/doggy horsey brain!  Having someone reach out to me made me have feelings and emotions, so immediately I began to 'up-shift'.  

3) Once she got me talking it out, I was able to re-access my higher brain!  All of a sudden, I was able to 'up-shift' again to actually think about what I could do to feel better/end the craving without using.  

4) Successfully fighting a craving was the most empowering thing I have ever experienced.  I was so flipping happy, as I had never done it before.  If I'd craved, I'd used.  Period.  Now, I know that I am capable of another choice.

5) Fighting is hard, but it is so worth it.  The only notable withdrawal was tiredness, headache. weakness, and shortness of breath.  Anything more (muscles aches, etc.) is the drugs trying to convince you to GO TAKE MORE.  The 'pain' of DXM withdrawal is nothing like opiates, nothing like benzos, and nothing like alcohol.  We want to believe that it is, because psychologically quitting is JUST THAT HARD.  But it isn't.  

6) If you are ever ready to quit, have Excedrin on hand for the headaches, Gatorade for all of the stuff you're about to flush out of your system (you will also start to poop more, so this will keep you hydrated!), people in your phone who are textable for when you end up in your lizard brain, and COFFEE.  I was able to get through this without sleeping around the clock, but I had to keep caffeine coming.  By Day 3, I was feeling pretty flipping normal (physically).  

7) I'm weak and fat, now, thanks to DXM.  I'm very much determined to re-lose the 20 lbs I had lost in the last year and get all the strength back that I'd built up.  DXM made me not care how much salt, sugar, etc. I was putting into my body, and I CERTAINLY wasn't able to walk the 6 miles/day that I was used to walking.  I know that focusing on my physical health will be a large part of my after-care.

So, friends, I will post updates, but I do hope you'll come around, too. =)  If you are new and thinking that DXM is ruining your life, I promise it is.  If you want to get off, I promise that you can.  No, it won't be easy.  I contend that dissociatives are the most difficult of substances to get over, despite having very little physical withdrawal.  DXM takes over your mind and your will.

I'm taking it back, now.

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by bahamamama13165, Jan 20, 2013
DAM TRAM did you go inpatient ?

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by DamTram, Jan 21, 2013
Nope!  22 days sober. :)

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by bahamamama13165, Jan 22, 2013
Wow, good for you. I am totally hating myself right now.  I got drunk yesterday and i'm  hungover.  think I'm going to make an appointment with an addiction therapist.  I got to do something different this time.

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by Hayleyj325, May 24, 2013
Is anyone still posting here? I see the last post is dated january 22nd and it is not may 24th. I hope I'm not too late. I really need some help...

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by DamTram, May 24, 2013
Hi, Haley!  I'll always be here.  I've been clean since December 30, so I'm definitely in a position to help.  What's wrong?

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by Hayleyj325, May 25, 2013
Well I have been using DXM off and on since I was 14, I am now 27. I have struggled with it for so long, and had so many terrible things happen as a result of my use and still I can't seem to kick the habit completely. I know it's bad for me I know it's not making my life any better, yet I turn to it every single time I am in despair. Recently it has been causing some serious issues with my health, and I stopped 2 days ago because I was truly afraid I was going to die if I didn't. I was smelling blood within my sinuses for 3 days straight, and wasn't getting much sleep, and when I was sleeping I was constantly active, talking, scratching, restless limbs... My heart started racing irregularly and was so loud I couldn't focus on anything but the sound of it and my blood pressure skyrocketed to 168/106 even with the help of hydrochlorothiazide. I knew that it was only a matter of time before something was gonna give. I prayed that I would stay alive through the night, and miraculously came through. I have 3 beautiful children and a loving wonderful husband and I have always kept this my dirty little secret and tried to pretend like I was normal for so long but I know I have to stop. I want to stop, I want to be better. It's been 2 days and other than feeling really tired I'm doing pretty good. Still restless in my sleep, but my bowels are moving again (hurray!) and I'm not having any cravings at the moment. I'm still a bit shaky and am still seeing tracers but I know that's to be expected. I feel like this is the moment that will change everything for me. The desire to live is becoming far greater than the desire to throw it all away for a cheap buzz. I have so much to live for, such a wonderful blessed life, it's selfish to do this to myself and risk leaving my family without a mother, or a wife, or a daughter. I just need support. I have felt so alienated for so long because so many people look at cold medicine as child's play. How can you really be addicted to that? Half the crack heads I have talked to wouldn't be able to survive a day on the amount of DXM I was consuming, although as of recently I have cut back so my family wouldn't see the effects. They can always tell when I'm sweating or have issues talking, or seem completely distracted. For a while now it has seemed like just maintenance but I could feel it killing me. I could feel my body dying. I just want to be better.

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by DamTram, May 25, 2013
I will post more later, but:

1) Wellbutrin saved my life, in no small way
2) it wouldn't have if I hadn't finally requested treatment
3) get to an NA meeting.  You don't have to tell your substance.

More later!

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by Hayleyj325, May 25, 2013
I've tried NA and AA it just wasn't for me. I' m not into the whole god thing and a lot of people in the program gossip and know people who know me and I'm so far separated from that now...

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by DamTram, May 25, 2013
Ah, yes.  I hated it.  Instead, I went to Smart Recovery.  It looks like you're in SoCal, so should be easy to find a group.  It's based cognitive-behavioral therapy and empowerment.  I'm not allowed to post links, here.

I'm serious about the Wellbutrin.  What you need to understand is that you have used DXM to deal with despair, and for so long, because your system may actually need something extra.  I spent years fighting addictions and not being able to figure out why I couldn't be normal.  Now I know: my executive functioning was so poor (partially due to a childhood and adolescence of stress, partially due to genetics) that I was unable to do the following (thereby preventing me from ever living the life I wanted):

Control impulsive and compulsive behaviors and thoughts (usually self-destructive)
Regulate negative emotions
Concentrate on tasks
Sleep well
Maintain self-esteem
Build and keep healthy friendships/relationship
Not turn anger inwards

I know the last thing anyone wants when kicking an addiction is to start another drug.  It may be, however, the only way to stop.  There is SO much to work through, learn, relearn, feel, etc etc upon sobriety.  Jumping straight into it, particularly with heavy responsibilities (eg, raising a family), is why most are unsuccessful in remaining sober.  If you can, please make an appointment with a psychiatrist and be honest about your addiction.  If you don't like him/her or feel judged, leave and find another.  You owe it to your girls and husband to do whatever it takes to bring mom back, even if it's outpatient treatment and/or monitored pharmaceutical intervention.  

You're the 3rd person who I've spoken to who has raised a family while being on and off DXM long-term.  This completely blows my mind, since I wasn't able to speak clearly or walk reliably when on it.  I would sit on my couch for 8 hours straight reading the Internet.  Why?  Because it was 8 hours where all I had to feel was NOTHING.  My point is, the 3 of you are SO STRONG to have done those 2 things, simultaneously.  It is that strength (and your families) that will help pull you out of this hole.  You already have what it takes, but you can't use it, alone.  "You can fall into your addiction alone, but you can't get out by yourself".  No one can.  Those who quit cold turkey with no support never end up dealing with the issues.  The addiction just takes on another form.

You may think that your husband has no idea, but I'd venture to guess that he knows very well that sometimes things are very wrong with you, but he doesn't know why.  You're not drinking!  You're not sick!  You're not puking!  You're functional!  How could you be on drugs/alcohol?  Anyway, I bet he'd be relieved to finally understand, sorry that he hadn't pushed the matter, and be ready to help in any way, if he is as wonderful and loving as you say.  Telling my mother (and later, my friends) was the scariest thing I'd ever done.  It was worth it, though.  I'm not sure what would've happened without her.

Remember: the evil of DXM is that it has VERY LITTLE physical withdrawal.  It's the paralyzing depression, fear, anxiety, self-hatred, etc etc etc that are the beasts.  These are the jerks who get us to give up and start using, again.  Which is why we, especially, can't do it alone.  Someone else needs to counteract those voices when you become too weak to fight them on your own.  

For awhile, I had no one that I knew, my age, who had managed to get off and eventually live a normal life.  Then my Smart Recovery group told me that one of the leaders in another part of town was the same age, six years off, and helping others.  Not until I met him and talked to him did I believe that this not only beatable, but that there really is a chance for normality on the other side.

I'm living the life I've always wanted, but never been able to.  Ever.  I cook.  I clean.  I have friends.  I laugh.  I rarely cry.  I can help others without feeling it myself.  I can concentrate.  I can sleep.  I can exercise.  I have an honest-to-goodness boyfriend (of whom I NEVER would have felt worthy, before).  Last night, looking at pictures of myself, for the first time in my whole life: I realized that I was pretty.  You can have it all, too, Haley.

I'm only a few hours from you, if you ever need support or someone to whack stuff out of your hand.  Let me know how I cam help.

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by DamTram, May 25, 2013
That number is inflated.  I think it's in the 130s.

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by krissytheil, Jul 02, 2013
I need help. I have been addicted to cordacidin for 6 years now. I  have been taking it to workout and be able to keep going and going without feeling weak. Also it makes me not hungry which has made me loose weight which has made my confidence level better. I need to get off it but I don't know how....

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by DamTram, Jul 02, 2013
Hi, Krissy!  You took the first step.  How old are you?  This will help in me pointing you towards the best care.



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by DamTram, Jul 02, 2013
(~180, 6 months)

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by Valentino28, Jul 10, 2013
Hey guys I'm a heavy coricidin user for 3 years who has attempted sobriety over 50 times but have failed. I now have 8 days clean and sober with the help of Wellbutrin and most importantly a humble and honest approach to god. My habit was 2-3 boxes daily or every 2 days if I didn't end up in the emergency. I've suffered multiple seizures in my uses and my blood pressure once reached 203/108. I am 22 years old extreme potential but cannot put a finger on why I continue to go back out. I would love to talk to you guys. Together we can beat this satanic addiction!!

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by Valentino28, Jul 21, 2013
I'm still stayin strong!

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by DamTram, Jul 21, 2013
Hello, hello!  Welcome!  I am so happy to see another survivor, and what you've survived sounds much worse than in my own experience!  In terms of immediate danger, coricidin is more dangerous than pure dxm since it has an equal dose of antihistamine in it, but in the end...both will ruin your mind, your body, and your life.  I'm so happy for you!!

You continue to go back out purely because of chemistry and getting used to coping with it in that way.  This is why Wellbutrin has helped me so much and why it sounds like it may be helping you.  Whatever was going on with us neurochemically, we found that numbing out with dxm became an easy way to deal with it.  Once we saw the damage it was causing, we wanted to stop and couldn't, as all we'd done is make whatever neurochemical issues even worse.  The saddest thing about this drug, I think (and there are many), is that people are convinced that it's a problem of willpower; that they are weak, stupid, or insane for continuing to go buy it.  If alcoholics could just stop, wouldn't most of them?  Does anyone truly WANT to be a heroin addict?  Nope.  We are all in the same boat, only ours is as easy to buy as Tylenol (or, if a store is doing what it ought to be, Tylenol with decongestant).

How did you end up on Wellbutrin?  Congratulations on 8 days clean!!  What's your dosage?  Over time, I've worked up to 2 x 200mg (1, twice a day) of the sustained release.  I'm finally almost off Prozac (which I was on before the DXM, which is what got me so high in the first place), so I'm happy about that.  But, Wellbutrin?  Out of my cold dead hands, I still say!  I was a smoker for 8 years.  I couldn't quit, no matter what I did.  Now that my prefrontal cortex has a fighting chance (thanks, buproprion!), I've been smoke-free since January. =D

I'm convinced that those of us that get caught in this cycle are the ones with underlying, biochemical issues.  I believe that Wellbutrin is the only way to get out and actually stay out.  The only other survivor I've met (in person) STILL (10 years sober) has to be accompanied by his girlfriend to the grocery store when he has the flu.  I don't want that monkey on my back for the rest of my life.  

So, what will you do first with your new life? =)



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by bahamamama13165, Aug 29, 2013
So glad to see people fighting and winning at this addiction.  I ended up having to go to inpatiant rehab.  It was the best decision of my life.  I have 60 days clean and I feel great physically and mentally.  It is definitely possible to get off this drug.  I'm using the12 steps to stay sober, that is what's working for me.  Good luck everyone!

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by Devgor, Sep 17, 2013
Alright, so im 17 right now only known about DXM for about 8 months... First time i took them it was like a new world to me. have only taken them like 7(16*7=112 pills) times at most... A box every time... Im currently needing some. help with some of my problems, im trying to fight it. But i know im at the point where someone where to ask me to come take some i probably would..

I feel like im going crazy i have almost like super panic attacks, and Im not sure if its from this, but i started to hear people talking, when they are around me but the never said anything? Is that possible or is it something else?
My memory is horrible now...  I currently go to school and on September, 16 the teacher got a call and i swore i heard the call. almost like it was me on the phone, but i though it was a cop saying he was coming to arrest me, so i waited like 1 hour panicking really bad.. I feel almost like im dead, im afraid to go to bed at night not knowing if ill wake up..
Sometimes during the day, I feel like im on DXM just randomly is that possible?
Is all of this possible from DXM?


Please any help would be amazing, and Im trying to pull through. And straighten up i got along life ahead of me hopefully I didn't do permanent damage. THANK YOU.

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by FamGuy, Dec 30, 2013
I can relate to everything that all of you have said... its so amazing to know that there are others.. coricidin cough and cold has been consuming my life for 4 years.. luckily I am clean and sober and have been for 4 months. I just got out of rehab for failing all my court drug tests for pot and DXM. im glad to be home now but I still get cravings all the time including right now.. /: but im fighting it and thanking the lord that I have somewhere like this where I can post about my abuse and get help and support. also, I was recently on recovery radio (its an AM station) and I told my story of this long terrible addiction. I feel proud of myself and look forward to conversating with all of you.

P.S.-- DamTram, you are incredibly inspiring and very intelligent. I would love to hear back from you, seeing how both of us are quite knowledgeable about the effects of Dextromethorphan HBr

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by DamTram, Dec 30, 2013
Congrats on on your recovery, famguy!!!  4 months is no joke.  You should be really, really, really proud of yourself.  Thank you for the compliments!  I wish I did not know so much about this. :|

However, I recently finished a course in the psychiatry department at my school on Substancw Abuse.  My university paves the way in addiction and abuse research, so I figured, why not?  I learned so much, a lot of which they do and do not disclose in treatment/rehab.

1) Substance Abuse Disorders are real, live disorders of the brain.  You were probably primed for it before you ever took a drug, but any abuse changed the pathways in your brain in ways that are permanent.  Not in the you killed brain cells sense (you have plenty), but in the sense that the way that you experience motivation, reward, planning, impulse control, etc has been changed in ways that have nothing to do with willpower.  The best analogy is that: once a person becomes diabetic, all the changes in eating habits won't change the fact that they now need insulin therapy.  

2) Because of this, drug therapy is just as effective as drug treatment + counseling/rehab.  There are 8 FDA approved drug therapies, and so many more that are developed, tested, but not yet approved, but to admit that rehab is less effective would bring a VERY large system down.  Also, many counselors, etc are ex-addicts themselves and feel VERY strongly about the 12 steps, willpower, etc etc etc.

3) If our society accepted #2, our prison system would be much less profitable/would be much smaller.

So, all of this explains why I wasn't able to move away from addiction, for all those years, until Wellbutrin (NOT even one of the FDA therapies).  Don't get me wrong, I still **** up from time to time, but more in the way that "normal" people choose to get high or drunk every once in awhile.  The difference is it's never repeated or in close proximity to another mess up.  I'm also in therapy, so I can address it when/if it does.

So, don't beat yourself up for the cravings.  Your brain is asking you for something that it needs, whether it always did or abuse made it do.  To return to CCCs would be destructive, but to seek medical therapy would be wise and, probably, life-saving.  

We are not supposed to give medical advice on here, but I feel I'm just giving the advice to find a doctor or psych that specializes in addiction.  Your life doesn't need to be the constant fight that AA/NA would prefer you believe.  

Hope that helped? :|

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by FamGuy, Dec 30, 2013
Thank you so much Dam Tram, this helped a lot! i've been doing very well with not using dxm. the only thing that kinda scares me is the fact that I know pretty much everything about this drug and know the ins and outs. i've thought about using it 7 days before my tests seeing how it takes on average about 4 days to leave your system depending on metabolism, body weight, ect. but overall I am very grateful that I have not used because I have a clear mind, and a sense of well being. this addiction is NO joke as we all already know. I overdosed on 64 CCCs and lived coming out of it healthy as a horse... I am very lucky to have lived and not have had any medical problems. The doctors told me that the amount I took would have killed 4 out of 5 people. and although I came out of it alive and grateful, I went back to it about a month later and the cycle started all over again. most people think its pathetic to think your addicted to cough medicine.. but truth is ANYTHING can be addicting. such as television, chocolate, sex, ect. this is a very serious disorder and should not be taken lightly. When I was doing my broadcast for recovery radio I mentioned all the dangers, how it affects the brain, and who is using it and the reasons why. The man who hosted the broadcast was also a member of the senate and has connections with the legislative branch of the govt. he said that they will most deffinatly be bringing it to the table. so hopefully we can get this product BEHIND the counter so it can not be stolen and so stores can monitor these purchases... because having to be 18 to purchase such a thing is obviously not enough. I hope that I can help WIN this war!

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by DamTram, Dec 31, 2013
That's so great that you've had the opportunity to educate such a wide (and influential!) group if people on these dangers!  I had to teach everyone in my treatment group and, later, in my substance abuse class.  So crazy!

Where I live, most places will not sell any formulation if Coricidin, but if they do, it's only the APAP formulations.  I was living in a very wealthy part of town for the last 6 months, and ALL coricidin is behind the counter.  Other places just have them in the plastic boxes that set off the alarms.  Only a handful of grocery stores just have them out there, but it wasn't this way last year.  Things are changing, but all I've ever been told is: the dxm market is WAY too profitable to ever have completely behind the counter (like pseudoephedrine) and only causes people to hurt themselves, mostly (unlike meth).  How many kids have to be ruined?  

64 in one swallow?  I think the most I've ever had were 32 over 12 hours, 8 at a time.  That was so, so, so scary.  What did that feel like?  Being dead but aware of it?

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by FamGuy, Jan 01, 2014
uhm, I had been taking them for 3 days ina row 16 the first two days all at once then the third day I took 32 all at once and my body didn't have time to release the chemicals from my system so it all built up causing my overdose. but to answer your question from what I can remember like you said it kinda felt like I was dead but alive at the same time.. it was crazy. it almost felt like I was dreaming but yet still awake and slowly slipping away. I ended up blacking out without realizing it. so I don't remember much. I actually thought I was playing xbox but it was all in my head. when my aunt found me on the couch, I was a greyish blue and I couldn't talk walk or comprehend sentences. the only word that I could say was "what". I didn't even recognize my dad when I saw him I guess, I had no idea who he was. it was like going to an alternate universe. then I awoke in the hospital having no clue where I was or why I was there. when I woke up I was really numb and still extremely high, and I couldn't really talk much. I had to drink charcoal while I was blacked out and it didn't even make me puke cause I guess I was really thirsty lol. I had to get 3 cathedars, 4 ivs, 5 blood tests within an hour, and i couldn't eat for a day. overall it was a very terrifying and eye opening experience.. i just wish i didn't go back a month later. i should have learned my lesson. but now that i have i am very grateful to be alive and don't take anything for granted anymore. it is such a dangerous drug and deffinatly needs to be monitored more carefully. i was soo scared to wake up in a hospital being asked a bunch of questions, and i can imagine how scary and emotional it was for my dad. im just glad that its all over and i am a better person now because of it. i just wanna help everyone i can and warn them of the dangers of DXM and i was beyond myself when i had the great opportunity to be on the radio and be heard by so many people(:

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by DamTram, Jan 01, 2014
Wow, thank you for sharing that terrifying experience...I know people stumble on this journal, and I hope that the details of the horrors we've experienced can deter first (or further) use.  We liken your reaction to that of heroin, or even painkiller, overdoses...yet we keep this on the shelves!!  Have you ever seen the Intervention episode of the guy on DXM?  If you can track it down on iTunes, I would.  It wll make you sick to see parts of yourself though.  May I ask your age?

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by FamGuy, Jan 02, 2014
I am 18 years old, although I feel my intelligence is far past my age. haha. but no I haven't seen that yet. does it cost anything to watch it? I would love to watch something like this. I used to read a lot of trip reports and it makes me sick how people still think this is okay to get high from and don't believe its dangerous. I try to tell people, ITS NOT A HIGH! its your body severly malfunctioning because of the fact that dextromethorphan and chlorpheniramine are both metabolized by the same exact enzyme in your liver, and they are fighting for the limited amount your liver can handle, and that is why the ccc high is so much more intense than regular dxm trips... the day that it is mandatory to have these products off the shelves and behind the counter will be victory.. but like you said dxm is highly profitable and most likely can not be eliminated completly

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by DamTram, Jan 02, 2014
It sounds like you definitely have more life experience than most 18 year olds.  This can go 2 ways: you can now sit back and begin patching up the damage while everyone in your age group just begins to go through it, or you can follow it down, further and further, until damage is irreparable.  It sounds very much like you have already chosen the former, and I am so glad. :)

The episodes cost a few bucks, I think, but you'll have it on your comp forever.  I keep it in case I ever feel myself heading toward a relapse.

Sadly, most "highs" (alcohol, LSD, meth) are your body reacting to poison.  Marijuana is debatable, and this isn't the forum for that discussion.  This one is just as bad for your organs, but...as we keep saying, is the only one you'll find loosely regulated.  Humph.

Have you finished high school?  Are you going on to school?  Addiction research is a huuuuuuuge field, right now, and they could use a bright, experienced mind like your own.

You should keep a ticker!  It helped so much in helping my recovery from Tramadol.  My DXM one is out of whack, but I'll post my Tramadol one, for now.

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by FamGuy, Jan 02, 2014
im getting my GED because my school was a bad enviorment for me (drug wise). but im glad to hear that you've been clean from tramadol for so long! great job! and whats a ticker if you don't mind me asking?. but I would love to be apart of addiction research.. im just not sure how to achieve such a thing. I found the ben and josh dxm video but I currently don't have any money on my account to buy it. so I will eventually get around to it. but when I get older I want to be a drug counselor for adolescents although they don't pay very much. I just feel that I could help a lot of people and helping people is what I love to do.. I have a long way to go though before I can get there. one day at a time :)

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