SPRINGFIELD, Ga. (WSAV) – The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office wants parents to know about a dangerous trend among children and teens called ‘Robotripping.’
It’s another term used to describe cough medicine abuse and the Sheriff’s Office has been receiving more reports about symptoms related to the abuse lately.
To help warn parents against this abuse Gena Sullivan, Public Information Officer, with the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, said they’ve released a memo on their social media to let them know keywords to listen out for.
“We have seen an increase in some of the behaviors and heard some of the names being thrown around of Skittles, Red Hots, Robotripping, poor man’s x things like that. So it kind of raised our concern and we just wanted parents to pay a little closer attention,” Sullivan said.
Besides listening in for those candy code names like Skittles or Red Hots, the memo also suggests parents pay attention to complaints of hallucinations or rapid heartbeat, which could also be signs of cough medicine abuse.
And the ingredient contributing to the high found in the cough medicine is ingesting large doses of dextromethorphan. It’s found in over-the-counter cough syrups like Robitussin, and throat lozenges.
Dr. Andrew Gunter a pediatrician at Memorial Health said kids and teens abusing this drug can be a fatal mistake.
“It can actually cause kids to have cardiac arrest, seizures, stopping breathing, and all of those things you can imagine, seizures and stopping breathing and heart issues,” Dr. Gunter said.
Dr. Gunter said the practice of misusing drugs like Robitussin could lead to stronger drug use like marijuana or cocaine, or death. He added if parents want to combat this, they need to not shy away from serious talks.
“You’ve got to talk to about drugs and substance abuse because as a parent sticking your head in the ground like an ostrich really doesn’t go well for kids in general. You’ve got to talk about drugs…and tell them this stuff is bad for you,” Dr. Gunter explained.
He also added another way to help parents prevent abuse of cough medicine or syrup is by clearing out old medicine you might not think is dangerous.