Nearly everyone remembers their childhood colds and sore throats when a caring parent could be counted off for regular doses of cough syrup to stop a hacking cough or soothe a scratchy throat. Few parents or even doctors were overly concerned about side-effects or dependency.
Cough syrup was often considered a relatively harmless medicine cabinet staple in any home with young children.
Today, addiction and dependency have taken on a new meaning in a world where hard-core drug addiction can shatter lives and destroy families. Even something as seemingly innocuous as cough syrup can be dangerous. There are some dangers you should consider and avoid before taking your next dose of cough syrup.
Many children’s cough medicines have been flavored to be appealing to a finicky child’s taste buds. This can be deceiving and dangerous. Cough syrup is not candy, even though it may taste like it. Over-the-counter cough medications contain dangerous ingredients.
Most over-the-counter cough syrups contain dextromethorphan, commonly referred to as DXM. The effects of too much of this chemical can be the same as excessive alcohol consumption. DXM can be intoxicating and hallucinogenic when consumed in large quantities.
Other serious effects that can occur when taking cough syrup are dizziness and lack of coordination. Common activities, such as driving or walking can be impaired by this seemingly harmless medication. if used long-term, a mental illness is known as chemical psychosis can occur. All this can come from an over-the-counter medication.
Prescription cough syrups can contain a controlled substance such as codeine or pseudoephedrine. While these cough syrups require a doctor’s prescription to obtain, they can ofter be over-prescribed and addictive.
Cough syrup is often the first level of experimentation with addictive substances for teenagers intent on getting a quick high. It is relatively easy to obtain and just easy to underestimate as a dangerous drug. Cough syrup can be every bit as mind-altering as more hard-core street drugs if consumed in excess.
Cough syrup, even when taken as indicated, can cause a variety of unpleasant side effects.