Some people believe that using heroin is dangerous, but taking over-the-counter (OTC) drugs such as cough medicine to get high is much safer. After all, they reason, OTC drugs are legal! You can buy them at drug stores, supermarkets, and other places. So they should be safe to use, right?
Still, it is possible to abuse OTC drugs. People abuse OTC drugs that include dextromethorphan (DXM or DM), which is used in cough and cold medicines in the form of cough syrup, tablets, or capsules. They also abuse OTC drugs that are used in weight loss, such as diet pills, laxatives, and diuretics.
An OTC drugs addiction in California can be just as dangerous—and just as lethal—as an addiction to an illegal drug such as heroin. Luckily, there is OTC drug addiction treatment in California to address such addiction.
What Are Some Symptoms of Short-Term OTC Drugs Use?
Since there are so many types of OTC drugs, taking them can produce many types of symptoms, from the irritating to the severe:
- Diphenhydramine, an allergy medicine known as Benadryl, can cause a dry mouth or drowsiness.
- Dextromethorphan (DXM) can impair a person’s judgment and his or her visual perceptions. People sometimes take DXM to produce hallucinations intentionally. This practice is sometimes known as robotripping because the cough medicine Robitussin has DXM and drug-induced hallucinations are sometimes known as tripping.
- Diet pills can produce anxiety, vomiting, diarrhea, blurred vision, and insomnia. They can also cause infections in the urinary tract, interfere with menstrual cycles, and cause hair loss.
People can also have allergies to aspirin, other OTC pain relievers, and other OTC drugs.
Symptoms of an allergy to aspirin and pain relievers can include:
- red eyes
- runny nose
- itchy skin
- swelling of the tongue, lips, or face
- wheezing, coughing, or breathing difficulties
It can also produce a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis where the body goes into shock. Anaphylaxis can produce a swollen throat or tongue and constricted airways, hives and other skin reactions, a rapid and weak pulse, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fainting, and other symptoms. If not treated immediately with epinephrine, anaphylaxic shock can be fatal.
What Are Some Symptoms of Long-Term OTC Drugs Addiction and OTC Drugs Overdoses?
Again, there are a large variety of OTC drugs that produce a large variety of short-term effects.
It makes sense, then, that abusing different OTC drugs on a long-term basis creates different long-term effects:
- Dextromethorphan (also known as DXM or DM) can elevate blood pressure and heart rate, can harm motor functioning, or can produce symptoms such as hot flashes, numbness, dizziness, nausea, or other stomach problems. Overdosing on DXM can also cause nervousness or restlessness.
- Using dextromethorphan with decongestants can occasionally limit oxygen to the brain and cause extreme breathing problems, creating a condition known as hypoxic brain damage.
- Since they are stimulants, diet pills can elevate a person’s metabolism and heart rate. Prolonged use of the pills can produce heart attacks or strokes in healthy people. For people who already have high blood pressure or heart problems, abusing diet pills can be very dangerous.
Using OTC drugs with each other, with prescription drugs, or with illegal drugs and alcohol can also create serious side effects. Similar to addictions to other types of drugs, OTC drug addiction in California can also hurt a person’s judgment and ability to make good decisions. OTC drugs abuse could cause people to drive under the influence of drugs or engage in risky behavior, such as unprotected sex.
Signs of OTC Drug Addiction
Using OTC drugs improperly can create addiction. One of the symptoms of OTC drugs addiction is tolerance. This happens when people take so many OTC drugs that their bodies becomes accustomed to their effects. They have to take increasing amounts of the OTC drugs to feel the impact. Their bodies then become used to these new higher levels, leading the people to take more drugs, which just increases their tolerance and drug usage even more.
Other signs of OTC drugs addiction in California include cravings for OTC drugs. People addicted to OTC drugs spend a great deal of time thinking about drugs, searching for drugs, using drugs, and feeling the effects of their drug use. Drug users’ priorities shift, causing them to increasingly center their lives around OTC drugs.
Detox of OTC Drugs and Withdrawal of OTC Drugs
The cycle of tolerance and OTC drugs abuse is dangerous. It can expose the body to high levels of OTC drugs and lead to a buildup of drugs in a person’s system. That is why detoxing and withdrawing from OTC drugs is important. A detox of OTC drugs removes OTC drugs from a person’s system. A withdrawal of OTC drugs and other drugs can cause side effects, because the body and mind depend on the effects produced by the OTC drugs.
OTC drug addiction treatment in California can help manage the symptoms of withdrawal. Professionals at Monarch Shores can monitor the health and well-being of patients in order to ensure safer and more comfortable detox and withdrawal procedures.
Finding and Paying for OTC Drug Addiction Treatment in California
Inpatient treatment facilities such as Monarch Shores that have on-site detox centers offer another benefit: convenience. Clients can undergo the detox process and move immediately on to other parts of the rehab treatment. This means they do not have to travel to another center, go through the intake process again, and repeat other steps.
Instead, clients can find all sorts of treatments to address their OTC drugs addiction in California. Treatment options include various kinds of individual and group therapy, different programs, holistic treatments that address the mind, body, and spirit, treatment for dual diagnosis (a diagnosis of a mental disorder and a substance abuse problem), and different kinds of education on substance abuse issues.
Monarch Shores also makes paying for OTC drug addiction treatment in California more convenient. If you call us, our counselors will work with you and your insurance provider to find and finance OTC drug addiction treatment in California.
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.
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