Last updated: 05/6/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Dextromethorphan (also known as DXM) can be found in many over-the-counter cough medications, as the drug can be used to decrease activity in the part of the brain that causes coughing. However, many people abuse this drug, and unfortunately, this can lead to serious side effects.
Dextromethorphan Abuse and Inpatient Rehab
Although the National Drug Intelligence Center states that dextromethorphan does not cause addiction when abused, it is important to realize the dangerous side effects of its use and how these can still require treatment.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the drug “may produce euphoria and dissociative effects or even hallucinations when taken in quantities greater than the recommended therapeutic dose.” This can lead to
- Effects similar to those caused by PCP and ketamine
- A buildup of excess acid in bodily fluids
- Liver damage (as dextromethorphan is usually prescribed with acetaminophen)
- Hypoxic brain damage (rare)
The drug can cause dangerous side effects, even if a person is not addicted to it, but there has been some debate over its addictive potential. And someone who suffers from the severe side effects of the drug, in addition to any other addictions or comorbid disorders, will definitely require inpatient care.
What Should I Look for in Inpatient Care?
Finding the right rehab center for dextromethorphan abuse treatment is paramount. For many people, a hospital-based facility is necessary, especially for those who have experienced the severe psychological or brain damaging side effects of the drug.
Inpatient care can help in this instance because the treatment is usually more intensive, but it is important to ensure that your specific program has the tools necessary to treat you in your current state.
Look for an inpatient center that is
- Hospital-based or has hospital-like accommodations
- Relaxing and comfortable
- Staffed with caring healthcare professionals
- Providing readily available treatment (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- Accustomed to patients with your specific addiction(s) and/or other mental and physical issues
Finding the right rehab program isn’t an exact science, but you can make a list of the things you need from your treatment center, even those that don’t directly pertain to your addiction, in order to find the best one.
If you have abused dextromethorphan to the point of severe side effects, it is very important that you find the most beneficial option for your recovery.
Choosing the Best Option: How Do I Know the Program is Best for Me?
First, let us help you find a program that can cater to your specific situation. For example, if you are suffering from multiple substance abuse disorders, the treatment center you choose will need to be able to handle all of them, as well as any physical or psychological disorders you may also have.
Next, call the facility in order to find out what they offer and how they offer it. The NIDA states that most rehab centers today defy categorization and treat patients in different ways, using methods and philosophies specific to their particular program.
You can discover if the rehab center of your choice will actually be able to help you safely recover from dextromethorphan abuse and whether or not you agree with the program’s policies before ever setting foot in the facility. In addition, the individual on the phone will likely take your information in order to determine
- How long your treatment program might last
- Which treatment options you will require (and if the facility offers them)
- If your insurance plan will help pay for treatment and if you will be able to afford the copay
- If you have any additional needs that the program can or cannot meet
Once you have completed this exchange of information, it will likely help you make your final decision if you visit the facility. Once you do, you can decide if the inpatient program you choose makes you feel comfortable and safe and if you will be able to connect with the staff.
All of these aspects of treatment will help you stay in the program longer, which will allow you to have a more successful recovery in the long run.