Citation: Panda. "Fun Until I Saw What I Lost: An Experience with Dextromethorphan (exp79531)". Erowid.org. Oct 27, 2013. erowid.org/exp/79531
Most Coricidin contains CPM (Chlorpheniramine Maleate) which can be dangerous in high doses. See DXM Brand Warnings for more info.]
You don't have to be a certain 'type' of person or 'trashy' to get hooked, because this can happen to anyone. I found that out the hard way.
Ever since in 6th grade, I was labeled 'strange' and awkward. I had trouble talking to people I wasn't comfortable with, I cared too much of what other people thought, and I let small things get to me. My awkwardness lead to me coming off to people as rude, stuck up, and well, ugly. This continued on and eventually I believed heart and soul that I wasn't worth anyone's time and that I was disgusting. I now know that this was anything but the truth.
It all began my sophomore year. I wasn't out to look to hurt myself or anything I just wanted to 'experience life' and try to have fun. In reality I'm sure I just wanted to escape myself because I felt at that point already I was a piece of shit, so why not treat myself like one. That winter of my sophomore year, which was 2006, I was invited to a new friend's house. Before we got on the bus to go to her house, she offered that I try something called 'Triple C's'. I never heard of this term or didn't have much of a clue as to what they did but I thought maybe they'd help me loosen up so I decided to try them. After all was said and done, the bus ride took about 40 minutes to actually get to her house because it was such a long bus route. I felt nothing at all so I decided I was going eat when we got to her house. I still felt nothing, that is, up until the food was in my stomach. I felt the most intense nausea and dizziness I have ever experienced creep up on me out of nowhere. We decided to take a walk to see if maybe I would feel better. Stepping outside was the most bizarre feeling, though it didn't help I have never been to this girl's house before, but I literally had no
idea where I was. I remember this walk only in bits in pieces, like a dream, which is exactly what tripping was like to me. On this first trip all I remember is stopping twice while walking to throw up, and I believed I was in Narnia from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. That was my first experience with only 8 Coricidin pills.
From that day on I would occasionally go back to my friend's house on Friday nights with others to trip on these pills. Tripping was great at first: I had a great reaction to touch and I loved watching bright colorful things on the TV in the dark. This continued on only for a few months but mind you I would continue to trip in school on occasion which I found to make me feel two opposite extremes at once: dangerous and amazing. I think I tripped maybe 2 or 3 times that summer with friends back from my old high school. That was the end of my experience with Coricidin, or so I thought.
Fast forward all the way to the spring of my senior year, about April 2008. My father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but I never found that as a reason to use anything except for marijuana and drink alcohol. Coricidin or DXM for that matter didn't pop up in my head at all, until for some reason I thought of it late January early February of 2009. I had no idea why I thought of it, but I decided I was bored one Friday night playing a game, and that I would go to the local Shop Rite and pick up a box just to return to old and 'fun' times for once. I took only 8 pills that night, and continued to play my game until I felt the effects. When they did hit, they did not hit hard like my first experience, but rather nicely so I just sat back and allowed them to enhance my mood. I remember feeling so happy and alive, and music sounded so great to me and I was just a love to everyone around me that night. I felt that I could talk to guys very easily and get along with whoever I wanted to while on this.
After seeing how 'great' they made me feel in a time of hardship and sorrow while my father was sick, I continued to do them every Friday night alone. Although I was a bit sketched out and guilty that I was taking these pills while alone, I stopped caring and continued to use them. This went on for a month, when using every Friday eventually turned into using 3 nights a week. I would sit alone in my computer room tripping and just talk to my friends on AIM. This didn't strike me as a problem until one night my stomach, but more notably my liver started to have this weird, achy, and inflamed feeling. At this point I started to worry that I would end up dying of liver failure so I stopped.
Around the same time that I stopped, my father went into the hospital for a week because he was in really poor conditions. I watched him wither away for 10 months, and now he was just a very thin, pale, and sickly looking man; not the father I knew. That Friday he actually passed away from the cancer that had spread to his bones, liver, and intestines along with the inability to breathe without the breathing machine. For the next 3 weeks after that, it was just going through the motions for me. I took a leave at work, I stopped going to my second semester of college. I just felt dead inside.
When things began to return to reality, I found this time the hardest, and began to use again, except this time tenfold. From mid-March I started taking 16 Coricidin pills a night and if those weren't available to me I would just buy 2 big bottles of Robitussin. It was like clock-work: I worked every night until 8 pm, came home, ate a little food to prepare my stomach so I wouldn't get sick like I used to, and then gave it an hour, which is when I would take the 16 pills or begin drinking the cough syrup. At this point I was using in my room, because I found it much more private and comfortable. Every night at about 10-11, always depending, I would start tripping. I would keep a garbage pail next to my bed in case I felt I was going to get sick, and then it was smooth sailing from there.
As this continued for months, literally, I began to notice I did have a problem, but I didn't feel it was serious enough. I'm in therapy and I would always tell my therapist that I used, but never that it was every night and I never really asked for serious help or show a desire to stop. It came to the point where I would travel to every store if I couldn't find Coricidin. I had a list of maybe 11 local stores PLUS my job (I work at a food store) that I would go to in a certain order if one didn't fill my needs. The people at CVS knew me very well because I was the girl that would come in with just a license and money, pick up a drink from the fridge then go to the counter and ask for the Coricidin. Normally I would feel embarrassed that people knew my face for that reason, but at this point I was so deep into the hole that I didn't care. From mid-March until literally just last week, 3 months, I would go to sleep every night so ridiculously fucked up that I would be up until 5 am and I would have vivid hallucinations and begin to talk to things I heard that weren't even there. I'm ashamed to say that it became so bad that I started to steal the medicine from my job which eventually stopped restocking Coricidin altogether at some point in early June. I was at the end of my rope: I would have extreme mood swings, horrible temper tantrums, panic attacks, and go to sleep every night praying to God that he would let me wake up the next morning, all because I was positive this was going to kill me. I still couldn't find what it took to stop.
My mom or sister had no idea what I was doing every night in my room. I couldn't buy what I needed anymore, something had to change. Unfortunately it took a change for the worse, and I replaced my daily Coricidin usage of 16 pills with drinking bottles of Vicks Formula 44, Robitussin Cough Long-Acting, and Robitussin DM mixed. This mixture lasted for only 5 days. At this same time, I was talking to someone that I felt a strong connection with (still am) and I felt so in love with. One night as I was talking to this particular person, I realized I was so deeply in love with him and that in reality I loved myself, my family, and my life. It was so strange to me because I wasn't even tripping much at this point yet, but I felt true self acceptance for once in my life, and like a bomb hitting me I realized I couldn't bare to give up my wonderful life and the people in it for some stupid cough medicine. Almost instantly, as though I scared myself sick, I began feeling strange feelings in my brain, stomach, and liver I started to have a massive panic attack. I swore to myself that I was going to die that night or be brain dead because all of my brain cells were completely gone. I began bugging out and threw one of my half full bottles into the garbage and started crying. It was like for a split second I saw my future: losing my job, my ambitions, the love of my life, my family, and everything that I promised my father. I sat and cried that I didn't want to lose this, not now, and that I was sorry for what I've been doing to myself and that I'd do anything to keep what I had.
The next morning I woke up at 6 am still on a ridiculous trip from the night before. I was soaked in sweat and my pupils were the size of pennies. I walked out of my room and my mom asked me what I was doing up so early. I explained to her that I was just getting up to get ready to go out but something seemed strange about the way she was talking to me. I swore that my mom knew what I was doing for all these months so as soon as she left for work I went through my entire room—drawers, under the bed, in my closet, everywhere—and cleared out all of the empty bottles and boxes of cough medicine or anything that reminded me of tripping and I threw them out. I called her about a half hour later and broke down on the phone telling her everything about what I've been doing every night for the past 3 months. This was a ground breaking experience for me because I have never in my life been completely honest with my parents, especially my mother.
I have now been clean for about a week, and though I know that's not long, I have not had any urges although I know they will probably come. Ever since my epiphany, if you will, I have lost all feelings of awkwardness, anxiety and social anxiety. I feel like the slate has been cleaned with my mother and I don't feel that barrier of dishonesty anymore. I no longer worry about what people think of me, I can speak to people without sweating and turning red, and I no longer feel disgusting in my own skin. I feel wonderful about myself and my image and everything I have going for me.
I'm not going to preach to the choir, because I know how hard it can be to stop and granted I did recently stop myself. I wish someone had told me not to let it control my life, and to try to see the light at the end of the tunnel, that it's not too late to turn it around. It really wasn't worth it. I got high for a few hours and felt happy like that, but it turned its back on me and it destroyed whatever it could in my life.
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