Patterns and Perceptions of Dextromethorphan Use in Adult Members of an Online Dextromethorphan Community

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Dextromethorphan (DXM) is a widely available antitussive that has, at elevated dose levels, euphoric and dissociative effects. This article presents the reported patterns and preferences of DXM use, and perceptions of DXM use among adult members of an online DXM community. Analyses were conducted of quantitative and qualitative responses from nine female and 43 male individuals, aged 18–63 years old. All respondents reported illegal and DXM drug use, beginning, on average, at 15.7 and 17.1 years of age, respectively. The majority of respondents first heard about DXM online or from a friend, preferred to use DXM alone, ingested substances concurrently with DXM to modify its effects, had not been to an emergency room or arrested because of their DXM use, and used DXM for its dissociative and mind-altering effects. DXM was perceived as safe and in no need of further regulation with only 14% of respondents mentioning DXM’s addictive qualities. Findings from this sample of adult DXM users reveal a sophisticated subculture in which users report using DXM specifically to induce changes to their mental state and use a variety of substances to modify or enhance DXM’s effects.


This article was originally published in Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Journal of Psychoactive Drugs


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