Dextromethorphan Addiction Treatment

A comprehensive GUIDE to understanding addiction to dextromethorphan. How can you find the best treatment program? A full review of your option here.

12
minute read

Difficult to Quit?

Dextromethorphan (DXM) is a dissociative drug used to alter states of consciousness. While some people can take DXM occasionally, others can get hooked on the trip. So, what happens when you find yourself unable to quit?

In this article, we review the main signs of addiction to DXM. And we explain why drug problems are treated medically. In fact, drug problems are nothing to be ashamed of. We talk about current medical treatment for addiction and what you should expect from a reputable rehab.

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More here on what happens during the medical treatment of DXM problems. If we haven’t completely addressed the issue, your questions are welcomed in the comment section at the end. We try to answer all real-life questions both personally and promptly.

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Understanding DXM

Dextromethorphan is a halllucinogen. It works by disrupting the actions of the brain chemical glutamate at certain types of receptors called N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors on nerve cells throughout the brain. In this way, DXM can produce visual and auditory distortions and a sense of detachment from reality.

If you use dextromethorphan for a prolonged period, you might experience:

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  • anxiety
  • memory loss
  • impaired motor function

Like other hallucinogens and dissociatives, dextromethorphan is not considered to be physically addictive, but recreational use can cause psychological dependence.

Diagnosing Dextromethorphan Addiction

According to the ICD-10 dependency criteria, you are considered addicted to dextromethorphan (DXM) when you experience a combination of the following:

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  1. Have strong desires or compulsion to take dextromethorphan.
  2. Have failed to control the frequency and amounts of dextromethorphan use.
  3. Experience physical withdrawal symptoms on attempting to end or reduce dextromethorphan use.
  4. Have built up tolerance to dextromethorphan.
  5. Neglect of other areas of life in favor of dextromethorphan consumption.

Looking for help is a necessary stepping stone to sobriety that you haven’t been able to reach on your own. Even though asking for help might seem like a sign of weakness, it can actually make you stronger. Sometimes sharing your personal low with someone, whether a loved one or a professional, can relieve the burden of unnecessary stress. Admitting the need for help allows you to forge ahead toward your goals…and gather the resources you need for success.

Ready to become drug-free again? Call 1-877-607-2395. Our trained staff are waiting for your call.

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Getting Started With Treatment

Rehab starts with one decision: To get help and turn your life around.

When you think about making changes in your life, the idea may scare you. You may be comfortable with your life the way it is, even if it includes some elements that you know are destructive. Or, denial of a problem can keep you using. If you ignore or cannot see the problem, DXM can stay a part of your life.

KEEP THIS IN MIND: Change is inevitable, it’s the only sure thing in life. So, once you decide you want to improve your life, each step along the way is more rewarding. It may not always be easy but it’s worth it.

How can you tell you’re ready?

We suggest that you list some positive changes that might improve your life. When you do, the benefits of changing will become obvious. Imagine how good you might feel if you:

Stopped dextromethorphan.
Got your health back.
Began to lead a sober, drug-free lifestyle.
Enjoyed a fulfilling job in a career you felt mattered.
Were able to enjoy spending time with your family.

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As you think of these things, if something within you says YES!…you are ready to start treatment. Our hotlines are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to help you find a treatment program. Reach us at 1-877-607-2395.

The Best Treatment Options

There are two basic options to choose from to maximize treatment. Dextromethorphan recovery programs will require that you specific WHERE you want to receive treatment and for HOW LONG.

OPTION I. TYPE OF SETTING

Inpatient treatment settings remove you from your life for a period of time. This is useful because going to a residential rehab temporary removes you from triggers, allowing you to concentrate on the tasks associated with your recovery. During your residency you’ll have the chance to work with trained professionals and attend groups with other people who are experiencing problems similar to your own.

Inpatient treatment programs give you opportunity to learn the skills you need so that you can carry them over into real, everyday life. Did you know we offer professional help with inpatient rehab? Why not talk to us at 1-877-607-2395 for a few minutes and explore your options?

Non-residential (outpatient) treatment is usually recommended for mild dextromethorphan abuse problem caught in the early phases. This type of treatment does not require an overnight stay in a medical facility. Outpatient programs are ideal for working professionals who cannot take a leave from work or for people who cannot leave their families. It does require a high level of commitment and support at home…as relapse can be triggered by familiar routines or environment.

OPTION II. DURATION

Thirty (30), 60, or 90+ days of treatment length.

The time spent in recovery depends on a combination of expert recommendations, your finances, and personal situation. Some people are excellent candidates for a 30 day program, whereas others undergo treatment for more than a year. As each case is individual, it’s best to seek a recommendation from an expert when deciding on treatment length.

NOTE HERE: An individualized treatment program is more important than the length of time spent in treatment. It’s highly advisable to go for an assessment before you choose the duration of the program yourself.

What Is Stopping You From Rehab?

FINANCES: I cannot pay for rehab.

If you have a serious problem with dextromethorphan that requires treatment, but you lack financial resources to pay for a costly rehab, here are some ideas on how you can pay for your rehab stay:

Option 1: Raise money through crowdfunding sites (GoFundMe, IndieGoGo and Crowdrise). You can use these web sites, to set up a campaign, share it with your friends and raise the money you need to receive treatment.
Option 2: Check if the treatment center offers a payment plan.
Option 3: Use your personal savings or retirement account.
Option 4: Apply for a loan from a bank.
Option 5: Look into health care credit cards. Some credit companies cover medical expenses and even offer credit to people with a poor credit history. If you have a good credit history you may be able to receive up to $20,000 to pay for your recovery.
Option 6: Call your State’s Department of Health and Social Services. SAMHSA awards grants that cover the costs of substance use disorders and mental illness recovery programs.

WORK: I cannot leave work for rehab.

Many people diagnosed with drug issues have jobs and multiple responsibilities in the community. Though they cannot fully admit that they have a dangerous habit, their work drive gets in the way of taking a break from their responsibilities to pursue treatment.

But, you may be surprised to learn that laws protect your job if you attend addiction rehab. Check if the following apply to you:

  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES: I cannot leave my family.

Ask your partner, family, or closest friends to help with your children and home responsibilities. Some residential treatment centers allow you to take your children (younger than 5 years) with you.

Why let fear get in the way of recovery? You deserve a drug-free life. We can help you achieve and maintain sobriety. Call 1-877-607-2395 to find out more about your options.

Why an Individual Plan?

Because people build different relationship with drugs, a one-size-fits all approach will not address your unique recovery needs. Instead of a standard match, treatment programs need to be specialized according to your:

  • history of drug abuse
  • the length of time you abused dextromethorphan
  • the presence of co-occurring disorders
  • your age
  • physical and mental health

Some addiction recovery programs even specialize according to culture, gender and sexual orientation.

What happens in rehab?

Rehab is kind of like adult education combined with an overnight camp for adults. You are able to get out of your every day life and focus on deeper issues. Reputable programs follow the usual protocol of addiction treatment and should include:

1. Intake
2. Detox
3. Therapy

1. Intake

When you first enter a rehab, expect to go through a physical exam, be screened for drugs, and then complete a mental health assessment. During intake, rehab staff will ask you questions about your drug use using standard questionnaires. It’s best to be completely honest as you go through the 1- 1 1/2 hour interview process. Why so many tests?

Rehabs collect detailed information about your drug use history in order so that they can create a treatment plan. The goal is to make a plan that meets your specific needs. So, a thorough assessment aims to define the nature of an addiction problem, determine diagnosis, and developing specific treatment recommendations for further treatment steps.

2. Medical detox

If you’ve developed drug dependence, you’ll need to safely remove DXM from the system. However, DXM rarely develops into cases of physical dependence. Still, know that this process is available.

3. Therapy

Finally, you’ll work on the psychological issues that accompany addiction. Therapy examines WHY you use drugs and helps you adoptnew behaviors that don’t involve drug use. The most common therapies used in addiction treatment are:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) -CBT teaches you alternative ways of thinking and behaving to reduce psychological distress. The goal of this therapy is to help you change your negative ways of thinking. The ultimate result of this therapy is a change emotional process by changing your views on life.

Contingency Management (CM) – “If a behavior is reinforced or rewarded, it is more likely to occur in the future.” The purpose of this therapeutic approach is to modify behaviors of substance abusers in a positive and supportive manner. For example, some programs reward recovering addicts each time their drug tests turn out negative.

Motivational Interviewing (MI) – During these types of sessions, you and your therapist will discuss about how you developed your drug abuse, the obstacles that get in the way of starting a treatment program and discuss ways to overcome your ambivalence to treatment.

Drug Education – “Knowledge is power”. Dug educational classes are designed to help you understand the negative effects of dextromethorphan on your health and your life. The purpose of these classes is to prevent repeated substance abuse and addiction.

Again, the most important benefit of an inpatient rehab is the chance to live and recover at a place free from triggers, plus inpatient centers provide a structured step-by-step treatment program that helps you remove your physical and psychological dependence on dextromethorphan.

Become drug-free for good.
Get help now at 1-877-607-2395.

Getting Through Dextromethorphan Withdrawal

Dextromethorphan changes the way brain and body function. In fact, the initial period of dextromethorphan addiction treatment can be accompanied by intense and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • anxiety
  • diarrhea
  • insomnia
  • restlessness
  • severe weight loss
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting

These withdrawal symptoms can be quite uncomfortable, which is why a 24-7 medical detox is recommended.

What affects the severity of a person’s withdrawal? Factors that influence the individual experiences with withdrawal include:

Duration of dextromethorphan addiction.
Mixing dextromethorphan with other substances.
How high is your dextromethorphan tolerance.
Existence of cooccurring dissorders.
Dextromethorphan half life.

For this reason, it’s not recommended that you attempt at-home withdrawal. Instead, 24-hour medical detox assistance is necessary. In addition to detox, ongoing medical monitoring, and a therapeutic follow-up program is need to fully recover.

If you fear the risky nature of withdrrawal symptoms, you don’t have to suffer alone. Call now 1-877-607-2395 in confidence. Immediate help and advice 24/7.

How to Help Someone With A Dextromethorphan Addiction

Addiction is a disease that affects the entire family. It affects some family members more than others, but can cause major upset to the system. Whether you are a concerned:

  • spouse
  • mother
  • brother
  • uncle

…you will either feel a direct effect, or some form of spillover from your loved ones’ addiction.

When having a drug addict in the family it’s natural to fear that your loved one will destroy himself/herself, but you must not let that fear block you from looking for help. The worst choice is to do nothing.

Another thing you should keep in mind is that you are not able to fix the situation on your own. This is so because you are simply too close to the problem. Additionally, you are not professionally trained to deal with addiction. Who should you seek help from?

  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist
  • Family Doctor
  • Medical Doctor Specializing in Addiction
  • Psychiatrist
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker

As a concerned loved one here are some other action points that can help.

#1. Learn as much as you can about addiction. Educate yourself about how dextromethorphan influences decision making and behavior. Learn about the psychoactive effects of DXM. Look into causes of addiction. This website is a good place to start.

#2. Offer compassion and understanding. When talking to an addicted person it’s best to approach them while they are sober. It’s best to stay cool during the conversation and resist your urge to criticize, blame, and/or judge. Above all thing be honest about your emotions and tell your loved one that you care for them and will gladly be there when they decide to enter treatment.

#3. Find professional help. Talk to a licensed addiction counselor, family doctor or a psychiatrist to find out how to convince your loved one to enter treatment. Also, look into the CRAFT Model of family training. You’ll learn how to use moments of openness to introduce treatment. You’ll also learn how to keep yourself safe around an addict…and how to care for yourself!

Long-Term Aftercare and Relapse Prevention

Recovery is an ongoing process that continues for a year or two after finishing a treatment program. In fact, the aftercare period is as important as residential hospitalization. The purpose of aftercare is to help you safely transit back into your everyday life without feeling out of control or falling back into destructive habits.

Aftercare engagement can come in the form of:

12-Step Programs. These groups are very helpful especially in aftercare because they have listed phone numbers and will give you information 24 hours a day. You can attend the peer support groups in person or online. The main idea here is that you don’t need to struggle alone.

Group Meetings with others at similar stages recovery. Listening to the stories of others and sharing your own struggles with addiction can be extremely encouraging. These particular group meetings follow the principles of 12 step. If you decide to join a support group do an online search to see what’s available in the area. The following links might help you:

https://healthfinder.gov/FindServices/SearchContext.aspx?topic=833
https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/locator/link-focPeer

One-on-One Therapy Sessions with a therapist or addiction counselor who specializes in treating people with dextromethorphan addiction. In your search for a therapist, a good place to start with your primary care physician, or human resource department at work. Many states have public health or mental health programs devoted to substance addiction problems in the community. The specialists in these programs can put you in contact with clinicians who specialize in treating dextromethorphan problems.

Besides psychologists, many psychiatrists, social workers and trained counselors are equipped to help you control over your addiction. If it doesn’t work with your first treatment provider, that’s OK. Keep looking until you find someone you trust and with whom you feel connected. It’s worth the effort.

REMEMBER: Those who need recover and aftercare support have choices.

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Want to Quit For Good?
Get the Help You Need.
Call Us at 1-877-607-2395.

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Does Treatment Work?

Yes.

People who get treatment and stick with it can stop using dextromethorphan successfully. They can change their lives so they don’t go back to drug abuse. The magic formula for treatment success? Ask for help. Follow directions. Repeat. Research shows that people who feel confident about their ability to make a change are much more likely to succeed in doing so.

Start your recovery today.
Call us at any time at 1-877-607-2395.
We are here night or day, waiting for your phone call.

Reference Sources: NCBI: Dextromethorphan Withdrawal and Dependence Syndrome
NCBI: Dextromethorphan Abuse in Adolescence
SAMHSA: Treatments for Substance Use Disorders
NIH: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction
NIH: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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