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by Erowid
1958 DXM is approved by the FDA for use as an anti-tussive.   
eartly 1960s Beat poets Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, musicians such as Daevid Allen Soft Machine, and alternative authors such as Jack Kerouac known to have used DXM in the form of Romilar. 1, 2   [Details]
c. 1962 Description of early recreational use of DXM-containing cough-syrup. 3   [Details]
1960s - 1970s DXM is available over the counter in tablet form sold under the brand name Romilar. Romilar was introduced as a replacement for codeine containing cough remedies in an effort to cut down on abuse.   
1967 An early case report about toxic psychosis due to ingestion of Romilar brand DXM tablets. 4   [Details]
1967 Early book mentioning the recreational use of DXM-containing cough syrup. 5   [Details]
Mar 1967 An article in Ramparts Magazine mentions that DXM-containing Romilar is popular with young heads. 6   [Details]
c. 1973 Romilar DXM containing tablets are removed from the market after an upswing in sales due to recreational use. 7  
c. 1977 DXM continues to be available in cough syrups designed to limit recreational use due to the unpleasantness of consuming large volumes of syrup.   
late 1980s Recreational DXM use is prominent among the punk subculture. 8  
1990 In response to reports of the abuse of DXM-containing cough syrups by teenagers, the FDA holds an advisory committee meeting to consider DXM's abuse potential. 9   [Details]
1992 The FDA advisory committee is reconvened to discuss epidemiological studies on DXM abuse. 9   [Details]
1990 - 2003 Recreational DXM use continues. A number of deaths have been documented due to the recreational use of DXM although a majority of these have been the result of products (such as Coricidin Cough and Cold) that combine DXM with other substances that become dangerous in high doses.   

  1.   Holman B, Snyder M. "The Bard His Own Self Allen Ginsberg says 'That’s all Goodnight'".
  2.   Chapman R. "Soft Machine". Mojo, June 1997.
  3.   Samraj AD. The Knee of Listening. The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd. 1972/2004. p 80.
  4.   Dodds A, Revai E. "Toxic psychosis due to dextromethorphan". Med J Aust. 1967;2:231.
  5.   DeRogatis J. Let It Blurt. 1967. p 37.
  6.   Hinckle W. "The Ghosts of Scenes Past, or How We got Here from There". Ramparts Magazine. 1967. p 13.
  7.   Shulgin AT. Drugs of Abuse in the Future. Clin Toxicol 1975;8(4):405-456.
  8.   White W. DXM Drug Culture. DXM FAQ. 1997.
  9.   Food and Drug Administration Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee (DSaRM): Abuse Potential of Dextromethorphan. FDA. Sep 14, 2010. p 18.