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‘Triple C’ being abused by Lincoln City teens

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Local teens have alerted Lincoln City Homepage to the growing abuse of an over-the-counter cough & cold medication that causes hallucinogenic effects when taken in large doses.

Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold is a decongestant-free cold relief medicine for people with high blood pressure that is not regulated by the federal government under the Controlled Substances Act.

According to the teens, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, “Skittles” –a street name given for Coricidin’s cough medicine in pill form– can be bought without a prescription or stolen off the shelf.

“I know someone who stole a bunch of it and has been popping them like candy to fry balls,” one sixteen-year-old said. “He said the high lasts about six hours and asked me if I wanted to trip and I was like, no way.”Cough and cold abuse

“I’ve been seeing the packages all over the ground,” A fifteen-year-old said. “It’s pretty bad because my friends have been taking it. They get crazy. It’s not good. One of my friends has been taking it for three days straight.”

“There’s about 20 people doing it right now,” says a 14-year-old. “Parents need to know. It’s sad to see.”

Fifteen states have banned the sale to minors of dextromethorphan (DXM), the active ingredient that can produce hallucinations and dissociation when taken in high doses.

Triple C –as the teens call it– can be swallowed or snorted to create hallucinations, slurred speech, poor muscle control, dizziness and paranoia. Coricidin HBP comes in a variety of formulas and can be dangerous when abused. Effects can range from stomach pain and nausea to irregular heartbeat and brain damage. Symptoms of a DXM overdose include breathing problems, increase in body temperature, intense hallucinations, seizures and coma.

Recent studies of long-term use of DXM point to insomnia and a general dissatisfaction with life.

Repeatedly taking high doses of dextromethorphan can cause toxic psychosis, a mental condition in which a person loses contact with reality. – American Addiction Centers

Local supermarkets, including McKay’s, Bi-Mart, Walgreens and Safeway, said they are aware of the potential abuse of Coricidin Cough & Cold and have measures in place to prevent the sale to minors, such as having age verification pop up on registers when the product is scanned.

Walgreen’s store manager Courtney Ebarb said she was concerned about the reports and would bring up the issue in a staff meeting. She said Walgreens staff would “keep an eye out” and possibly put the medication behind glass.

“We don’t keep a large supply because of things like this,” Ebarb said. “In the 16 years I have worked for Walgreens we have always checked IDs for people buying this medication who are 18 and younger.”

All stores contacted said they didn’t keep large quantities due to the possibility for abuse and were unaware of stolen or missing product at the time of publication.

DXM was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1958 as a safe and effective cough suppressant and the recreational abuse started shortly after.

In 2009, the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Monitoring the Future Survey found that 6 percent of high school seniors had abused DXM. DXM abuse leads to approximately 6000 emergency room visits each year with half due to abuse by those aged 12 to 25 years.

According to the National Poison Control Center, calls to Poison Control regarding DXM have increased dramatically since 2006.

Justin Wernerhttps://lchomepage.com
I'm publisher of Lincoln City Homepage. Also the web guy, photographer, cameraman, video editor, sportswriter, tech support, beat reporter, cat trainer and e-bike enthusiast. I have a passion for telling people's stories and keeping my fellow citizens informed.

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  1. Back in the 90s we did Dramamine… Now I have Multiple sclerosis:( you think your invincible as kids, till one day like a light switch your changed forever. It helps to keep your kiddos in multiple interests so they don’t get bored. Surfing, skateboard, hunting, hiking, mushrooming, gardening or fishing. Stay active and explore. Learn together.

  2. This has been going on for years. My Daughter was doing this when she was 14 years old. She is almost 22 years old now…. Nothing new.

  3. This is another example of teens without moral training which starts at home ! They are bored, lost, scared, without heroes, no expectations for their future, and no one at home to give them a cookie, love, a hug and a How was your day, honey when they get home from school Hence:٪ to FEEL something, even if it’s bad !
    Don’t blame it on the drug again. It’s NOT THE DRUG!

  4. I thought losing contact with reality was the whole point of taking drugs,
    and I include alcohol in there as well. Check your need for reality at the door-
    or haven’t you noticed that weed is suddenly safe? I was at Bimart
    today and I had to park next to some addict sitting smoking dope,
    it’s just going to get worse. It’s not cool.

  5. Apparently, lot’s of adults are abusing this drugs.
    “Repeatedly taking high doses of dextromethorphan can cause toxic psychosis, a mental condition in which a person loses contact with reality. – American Addiction Centers”

  6. I think that while newsworthy, this information is a double edged sword.
    Just like all the Kratom signs, and the older news stories about “bath salts”,
    and salvia, if I remember that last one correctly.
    Now this information gets more publicity and people who didn’t know about
    it last night, who might be bored tonight, are heading up to the store.
    People have always drank cough syrup, I remember seeing empty bottles
    of it all over the floor after a Devo concert, it’s really old news that we might not want to bring up again.
    Nowadays, with the internet, it’s even more dangerous that it was when I was in school back in the good old 80’s. Back then, you needed to know the
    “bad” kids, now- it’s in your lap, or on a phone.


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