Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold, most commonly known as Triple C on the streets, is a popular medicine that helps temporarily relieve colds, sneezing, runny nose, cough, hay fever, and other respiratory allergies. Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold, as well as other products of Coricidin, contains the active ingredient dextromethorphan. Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant that can cause hallucinations and dissociation as well as other side effects when taken in doses higher than recommended. This is the reason why most teenagers abuse this product.
Medicines containing dextromethorphan are not regulated by the federal government. Anyone including teenagers can just buy this easily without prescription. This is quite alarming as the number of drug abuse and misuse has been increasing in teenagers. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has noted that by 12th grade, almost half of the adolescents have used or misused an illicit drug at least once in their life.
Additionally, non-prescription or over-the-counter medicine such as cough medicine has shown prevalence in usage by 8th to 12th graders. In 2017, 2.10% of 8th graders, 3.60% of 10th graders, and 3.20% of 12th graders have been reported to have misused cough medicines.
15 states have already banned the selling of a cough and cold medicines containing dextromethorphan to minors. States that have taken action to this prevalent abuse includes California, New York, Arizona, Louisiana, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Washington, New Jersey, Florida, Alaska, Delaware, Nevada, Oregon, and Wisconsin as the newest addition. Although these states have taken action to prohibit sales to minors, teens still continue to misuse the medicine for its hallucinogenic effect. It is important that parents realize the risk of dextromethorphan medicines to prevent the risk of abusing triple C among their kids.
What Does Triple C Look Like?
Coricidin HBP cough medicine is accessible in several versions and formulas to relieve a cough and cold, chest congestions, as well as flu. Dextromethorphan products are also known in the streets by other names including orange crush, red devils, robo, robo-trippin’, robo-dosing, candy, DMX, and Dex. Due to the resemblance of Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold with a popular brand of candy, Triple C also goes by the name of Skittles.
The commonly abused Triple C medications are:
- Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold – These are red round tablets containing 30 milligrams of dextromethorphan
- Coricidin HBP Chest Congestion & Cough – These are red soft gel capsules containing 10 milligrams of dextromethorphan
- Coricidin HBP Maximum Strength Flu – These are red oblong tablets containing 10 milligrams of dextromethorphan
Triple C is often abused by people through swallowing high doses of the medication in its pill form. Powdered dextromethorphan, which can be bought on the internet, can be ingested, snorted, or injected. However, there is no certainty whether the powdered form is obtained from products of Coricidin or other medications containing dextromethorphan.
What Are The Effects Of Triple C?
Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold is most widely used due to its availability, efficacy, and safety at correct dosages. When Triple C is abused and consumed in inappropriately high doses, it can contribute to and trigger a state of psychosis. Consuming the drug continuously and in increasing dosages can contribute to more intense effects, sometimes leading to overdose.
When a person gets high on Triple C, they can experience the following health effects:
- Vision changes
- Stomach pain
- Abdominal pain
- Slurred speech
- Poor muscle control
- Irregular heartbeat
- Increased blood pressure
- Brain damage
Products of Coricidin are safe and effective when they are taken at 10 to 30 milligrams every six hours only. More than the recommended dosage can cause adverse reactions and may even lead to overdose. Overdosing on Triple C includes symptoms such as increased body temperature, breathing problems, intense hallucinations, coma, and even seizures.
Individuals who repeatedly take high doses of dextromethorphan can cause a person to lose their grip on reality and experience para-psychotic symptoms similar to delusions, paranoia, hallucinations, and dissociative states. The combination of symptoms can lead the person to do violent acts, such as assault, homicide, or even suicide. When taken in inappropriately large doses, the effects of Coricidin products may last up to six hours as reported by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Products of Coricidin may also contain other active ingredients, aside from dextromethorphan, that may cause health problems. An example of this is the acetaminophen found in Coricidin HBP Maximum Strength Flu, which can cause liver damage when taken in doses larger than recommended.
How Do We Prevent Triple C Abuse?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has listed dextromethorphan, which is found in many over-the-counter drugs like Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold and other Coricidin products, as one of the most commonly misused medicine. Since over-the-counter drugs don’t require any prescription to buy them, teens often get their hands on this medicine and even sell them to their friends. As mentioned earlier, some states have banned the selling of Triple C and other dextromethorphan-containing products to minors. However, this still doesn’t stop most teens from using and abusing Triple C. Most parents are even unaware of the dangers of the medicine. Other times, they just aren’t perceptive of their child being addicted or misusing medicines. Parents can mistake the behavioral and physical changes a teen may exhibit when they misuse or abuse medicines such as Triple C.
These changes include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Drowsiness or lethargy
- Rapid eye movement
Parents should also look for signs leading to Triple C misuse and abuse, including empty medicine boxes in the trash and missing medicines in the medicine cabinet. Abuse of Triple C may also cause teens to become hostile and hostile to parents and teachers. This may also cause low motivation in academics and declining grades.
It is important that parents help prevent Triple C abuse among their children since drug abuse can cause lasting harm to their children’s brain. There are several ways for parents to protect their child from Triple C abuse.
- Understanding and educating yourself of the dangers and effects of dextromethorphan and other products containing dextromethorphan.
- Explaining the dangers and effects of these products to your child.
- Monitoring your kid’s access to the internet as some forms of dextromethorphan can be bought there.
- Securing your medicine cabinet and taking note of the contents inside.
If your teen becomes addicted to Triple C or other substances, it is important that they seek help. Treatment facilities can provide your teen with the proper programs that cater to their different issues and needs. With proper treatment, your child can recover and overcome their addiction.