Call us today

(662) 638 0015
Menu close
Get Help Now

Our Centers

  • Take the First Step in Las Vegas

    Desert Hope is a beautiful oasis with modern charm located in Las Vegas, Nevada. We provide all levels of care from detox, in-patient, outpatient and sober living.

    Visit Desert Hope Treatment Center Visit Desert Hope Treatment Center
  • A New Life Awaits

    Start your recovery at our spa-like facility in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Holistic therapies, chef-prepared meals, and LGBTQ+ support are among the many features of our premier drug and alcohol treatment program.

    Visit Greenhouse Treatment Center Visit Greenhouse Treatment Center
  • The Best Place to Recover in Orange County

    Laguna Treatment Hospital is located in Orange County, CA. The first Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospital in the OC, we offer safe medical detox, mental health support, and wellness programs.

    Visit Laguna Treatment Hospital Visit Laguna Treatment Hospital
  • Start Recovery at Our Southern Resort

    Take a step back from your life and get the help you need at our premier drug and alcohol addiction center. Nestled in the countryside 1.5 hours from Memphis, Oxford gives you the support you need in a calm and beautiful setting.

    Visit Oxford Treatment Center Visit Oxford Treatment Center
  • Recovery Forecast includes Tropical Weather

    Your recovery can start at either of two premier drug and alcohol treatment facilities in the Greater Miami area - Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, FL. Our specialties include treatment for veterans and first responders.

    Visit Recovery First Treatment Center Visit Recovery First Treatment Center
  • Sunny Florida Welcomes You

    Retreat to the sunny climate of Tampa, Florida for a stay at the gold standard of treatment facilities. We offer customized care plans to help you on your recovery journey.

    Visit River Oaks Treatment Center Visit River Oaks Treatment Center
  • Helping New Englanders Find Recovery for Over 30 years

    Escape to the countryside to recovery in New Jersey’s premier drug rehab & treatment center. Located only an hour from New York City.

    Visit Sunrise House Treatment Center Visit Sunrise House Treatment Center

Can DXM Be Used for Opiate Withdrawal?

 As the opioid epidemic deepens across America, new and unconventional therapies are being examined as possible solutions. One such idea is using other drugs to help in the treatment of opioid addiction, which had led to questions like whether DXM can be used for opiate withdrawal.

DXM and Opiate Withdrawal

dxm-and-opiatesDXM is dextromethorphan, the antitussive (cough suppressant) found in everything from Robitussin to Vicks. It has also been used for pain relief, for which the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia wrote that the drug reduces sensations of acute pain “without major side effects.” However, dextromethorphan has also been abused for recreational purposes; as a widely available drug, it can be consumed in large quantities (anything in excess of 200 mg) for its latent “hallucinatory and dissociative effects,” which WebMD says mimic the effects of drugs like PCP or ketamine. The Drug Enforcement Administration writes that this can span from euphoria and hallucinations to “dissociative sedation,” where the user becomes disconnected from their own consciousness and identity.

With this in mind, how could DXM be useful in treating the withdrawal symptoms of opioid abuse? Research published by the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics noted that there are three main processes that are responsible for a tolerance (increasing need) for opioids and for the associated withdrawal symptoms (e.g., muscle cramping, excessive yawning, sweating, hypertension, etc.). Studies conducted as long ago as 1990 found that the use of certain antagonist drugs (which inhibit a biological response by blocking receptors in the brain) can reduce both the tolerance for the opioids (meaning the user will not have to take escalating amounts of the opioid to get high) and the withdrawal symptoms. Dextromethorphan is such a drug. The 1990 study found that heroin addicts going through severe withdrawal who were given 15 mg of DXM every six hours had significantly fewer withdrawal symptoms than heroin addicts who were given other drugs. Only perspiration and vomiting were standard among all patient groups.

The researchers in that study were optimistic regarding the use of antagonists like dextromethorphan to treat opiate addiction and withdrawal.

Successes and Risks of Using DXM

Other research (both on human and animal subjects) has also found that DXM “is effective in the relief of [opioid] withdrawal symptoms,” which opens up the possibility that doctors will not have to use milder opiates to help patients wean off their addictions and can instead use a non-opioid antagonist. The Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal noted that in mice studies, the level of DXM in the brain was “inversely correlated with the intensity of opioid withdrawal syndrome”; the stronger the DXM dose, the less severe the withdrawal.

However, every patient is biochemically unique, and all presented with different levels of opioid addiction to different kinds of opioids, so there is no way to know for sure how any given person will respond to dextromethorphan, especially since DXM can be addictive in and of itself.
 DXM can potentially be useful in the treatment of opiate withdrawal, but as a drug with significant side effects, it should not be taken without careful medical supervision. Anyone who wants to break free from an opioid addiction should consult a doctor or treatment facility before attempting to use dextromethorphan.

It’s not too late to start over

Get Help Now