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I'm a Functional Junkie
DXM
by Owl
Citation:   Owl. "I'm a Functional Junkie: An Experience with DXM (exp116613)". Erowid.org. Sep 21, 2022. erowid.org/exp/116613

 
DOSE:
  repeated oral DXM (capsule)

BODY WEIGHT: 155 lb


I will try to keep my long experience as short and concise as possible so it will hopefully convey my message to anyone who needs to hear it. Still, there is no way to summarize this in a paragraph or two. I am writing this in a single session, so I apologize in advance for any mistakes or hasty writing.

I first tried DXM recreationally at 17 years old, as a senior in high school. I did it a handful of times, enjoyed it, and never thought of it again until two years later.

The beginning of my addiction was a little over 5 years ago, April of 2017, when I was 19 years old. I bought a 3 oz bottle of some DXM polistirex syrup, just to keep around whenever I felt like using it. For the record, that kind of self restraint is so far in the past it is almost funny to think about. I took that DXM after having an argument with my mom, who I was still living with at the time, without even thinking much of it. I was angry and turned to the one thing I always turned to whenever I faced a problem in life: drugs. Didn’t matter which one. I remember when the DXM kicked in, a wave of peace overcame me, the likes of which I genuinely don’t think I had ever felt before. Suddenly, I did not care about what was making me upset. My dysphoria was quickly replaced by a sense of euphoria and inner peace that I felt like was missing my entire life.

Little did I know, I had just made the worst decision of my life. This is where I say, to anyone reading this, if you are considering trying DXM, please don’t! If you are at the beginning stages of taking it, stop while you’re ahead! I know that people without a drug problem will seldom listen to this kind of advice. I remember being 19 and looking at all the “addiction and habituation” threads, genuinely thinking “wow, what a bunch of idiots. Who could let it get that bad?”. It is easy to think such a thing when 300 mg of DXM gets you a “magic” trip, and not a single negative side effect has yet to manifest.

I slowly but surely started taking DXM often. Whenever I could really. It became ritualistic in a sense. At least two or three times a week I would go to some dollar store type place getting my dose for the night. At first, the afterglow would feel so great I wouldn’t feel the need to take it two days in a row.

Fast forward 5 years. DXM has not “ruined my life” in the same way many people’s lives were ruined by drugs. I still have my shit together somewhat. But it has turned me into a drug addict, reliant on it to feel any amount of normality. I have quit for periods up to 3 months long, and always relapsed into taking it every day or two again. It would always start with “just one time, to reward myself!”. Yes, smart, rewarding myself by poisoning myself. This brings me to my next point, and that is addiction has no face. No one on planet earth knows about this. Not my closest friend. Not even the woman I plan on marrying. My parents caught me twice, once in 2017 shortly after starting and once late 2019. So they don’t know either. I recently graduated with a degree, and after some additional education which will end next year I’ll be making a starting salary close to or right at 6 figures. No one would suspect someone like me. Although this may sound good, I don’t view it as such. I would often wish to just get caught, or overdose, or have my life fall apart and be forced to quit, but I always remain just competent enough to get by.

As I write this I am 1 week clean. This is completely irrelevant to me, because 1 week of sobriety is nothing when compared to 5 years of abuse. I want anyone still reading to understand the following: DXM withdrawal is not long withdrawal from other drugs. It is so much more sinister. I have been on just about every drug under the sun other than heroin, meth, crack, and cocaine, and none gave me the kind of problems when trying to quit that DXM does. This is because when withdrawing from nicotine, for example, one can be irritable for a while, have intense cravings, increased anxiety etc. But these symptoms subside quickly and noticeably if one waits long enough. DXM withdrawal consists of an intense feeling of emptiness, depression, and overall complete lack of enjoyment for any aspect of life. And it does not go away.
DXM withdrawal consists of an intense feeling of emptiness, depression, and overall complete lack of enjoyment for any aspect of life. And it does not go away.
Not unless I quit for a very long time. I truly believe DXM has greatly altered my brain chemistry in a very negative way.

I want to quit, I am trying to quit, and I am often times feeling suicidal as a result of being unable to feel normal without DXM. I wake up in the morning upset for no reason. I go to sleep wanting to cry. I can’t enjoy looking at the birds and trees because I feel no connection to anything. This all goes away within an hour of chugging a bottle of cough syrup. It is by far the strongest psychological addiction I have felt in my life.

As if that is not bad enough, the worst part is just how easy it is to acquire. I can’t go grocery shopping without being confronted with DXM. Some may relate this to alcoholism, but with all due respect, I strongly disagree. Alcoholics have support groups. Alcoholics are taken seriously. Alcoholics don’t have to deal with most doctors not even being aware of their drug of choice. Alcoholics have many more resources to deal with their problems. Try telling the average person you’ve been addicted to cough medication for 5 years and see how much sympathy and understanding you get. All this is coupled with the fact that getting any form of actual treatment for a problem like this would likely be a career killer for me. Quitting DXM is, for me at least, something that has to be undertaken solo. It makes me beyond sad to think about.

I felt like I had to write this simply because this issue has to be known about. I truly wish DXM was made prescription only like codeine. There was a time where that would have been my worst nightmare, but I genuinely would be overjoyed if that became the case (sorry for all the dex fiends reading this). I encourage anyone else who has experienced DXM addiction to write about it or come out with it as publicly as you’re willing/able to. I know my story is not special. I have never met anyone else like me, but I know they’re out there. There has got to be some reason every dollar store is always out of stock of a certain box of red pills! To anyone else battling this, I love you, I feel for you, and I wish you luck.

Exp Year: 2017 - 2022ExpID: 116613
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 24 
Published: Sep 21, 2022Views: 298
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DXM (22) : Retrospective / Summary (11), Addiction & Habituation (10), Alone (16)

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