eISSN: 2449-8580
ISSN: 1734-3402
Family Medicine & Primary Care Review
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2/2018
vol. 20
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Dextromethorphan recreational use and poisoning – the social and psychological background

Małgorzata Koziarska-Rościszewska, Aleksandra Piątek, Katarzyna Kobza-Sindlewska, Michał Krakowiak, Renata Winnicka, Anna Krakowiak

Family Medicine & Primary Care Review 2018; 20(2): 139–143
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Background
Dextromethorphan (DXM) is a widely used over-the-counter antitussive drug. In supratherapeutic doses, it exerts psychoactive effects. Use of DXM seems very common among people seeking ‘illegal or legal highs’.

Objectives
The aim of the study is to assess the social and psychological features of DXM users.

Material and methods
Data on DXM poisoning (n = 103; adults and youths) in Lodz Province from January 2011 to March 2015 were obtained. Furthermore, analyses of the psychological or psychiatric examination of patients were performed. The symptoms of acute intoxication and ingested doses were reported to evaluate the course and possible tolerance.

Results
Recreational DXM poisoning was the main reason for the admission of the majority of patients (53%). This phenomenon was observed mainly in the group of adolescents and young adults. The average dose ranged from 5 up to 120 pills of 15 mg each. Coadministration with alcohol was reported in 45% of patients. Clinical presentation included predominantly balance disorders, psychomotor retardation and agitation. There was a difference in psychosocial risk factors between genders: living alone and relationship problems were significantly more frequent in females.

Conclusions
Our study highlights gender differences in psychosocial risk factors for DXM use, a potential role of the family environment, substance addiction, and organic diseases in the development of DXM dependence.

keywords:

substance addiction, dextromethorphan, poisoning, recreational drugs

 
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