House Passes DXM Regulations

Dextromethorphan (DXM) is the major ingredient in many over-the-counter cold medicines and is perfectly safe when used correctly.  However, when taken in large amounts in its powdered form, it can cause hallucinations, brain damage, seizures, and even death.  DXM is not available to the public in its pure powder form but can be obtained illegally.

Unfortunately, as our nation's kids search for ways to get high, they have begun abusing both cough syrup and pure DXM, purchased over the internet.

As a parent of two young boys, I am concerned by the growing number of teens consuming cough syrup and unfinished DXM.  According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, one in eleven teenagers used cough medicines to get high last year.  And substance abuse experts have noted sporadic reports of teens intentionally obtaining unfinished DXM to get high by consuming large amounts of the powder or mixing it with other drugs or alcohol.

In April 2005, two teenagers from Whatcom County in my district overdosed on DXM they had purchased online.  The investigation of their deaths showed the teens had ordered the drug over the Internet from two men in Indiana who had set up shop in their garage.  Three other kids from Florida and Virginia also died from overdosing on DXM they had ordered from the same two men.

This is a simple piece of legislation that will require anyone who purchases bulk DXM to be registered with the FDA.  This legislation is common sense.  The only people who should be buying DXM in bulk are those who manufacture cough and cold medicines.  We must protect our kids from a new form of drug dealers - dealers like the men in Indiana who decided they could make money by selling DXM to the two teens in my district.

The Dextromethorphan Distribution Act of 2006 sends a strong message to the individuals who are illegally distributing DXM to our teenagers for recreational use.