Michigan Governor signs bill prohibiting the sale of dextromethorphan to minors.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer just signed legislation banning minors from buying over the counter NyQuil caplets, which contain the drug dextromethorphan (DXM), without a prescription. The issue went into effect after teenagers had been seeking a hallucinogenic high from the products.
WebMD warns, “This medication is used for temporary relief of coughs without phlegm that are caused by certain infections of the air passages (e.g., sinusitis, common cold). This product should not usually be used for an ongoing cough from smoking or long-term breathing problems (e.g., chronic bronchitis, emphysema) unless directed by your doctor. This product contains dextromethorphan…To decrease the risk for serious side effects, carefully follow all dosage directions.” Some well-known side effects of DXM include “nausea, vomiting, seizures, panic attacks, pounding heartbeat, slurred speech, high blood pressure, and even death, if abused with alcohol or other drugs,” according to the site.
More than 100 over-the-counter medications contain dextromethorphan, and they come in all different forms, including liquids, capsules, tablets, lozenges, and gel caps. Many popular brands contain the drug, including “Alka Seltzer Plus, Delsym, Robitussin, Vicks DayQuil, Vicks NyQuil, Tylenol Cough & Cold and Mucinex DM,” according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Addiction Center warns about the possibility of getting addicted, stating, “Once someone is unable to sleep without NyQuil, even when they’re not sick, they have become dependent on NyQuil. When a person starts to experience withdrawal symptoms when they put NyQuil back in the medicine cabinet, NyQuil dependence has escalated into NyQuil addiction. Physical withdrawal symptoms most often characterize addictions to alcohol, opioids, and dangerous stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine, but addictions to common medications can cause withdrawal symptoms as well.”
The bill, as signed into law, reads in part: “A person making a retail sale of a finished drug product containing any quantity of dextromethorphan must require and obtain proof of age from the purchaser before completing the sale, unless from the purchaser’s outward appearance the person making the sale would reasonably presume the purchaser to be at least 25 years of age.”
It continues: “A person that violates subsection is responsible for a state civil infraction as provided under chapter 88 of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.8801 to 600.8835, and may be ordered to pay a civil fine of not more than $100.00 for each violation. An individual who violates subsection is responsible for a state civil infraction as provided under chapter 88 of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.8801 to 600.8835, and may be ordered to pay a civil fine of not more than $50.00 for each violation. As used in this section: “Dextromethorphan” means the dextrorotatory isomer of 3-methoxy-N-methyl-morphinan and its salts. “Finished drug product” means that term as defined in 21 CFR 207.1. “Proof of age” means a valid government-issued photo identification that includes the purchaser’s name and date of birth, including, but not limited to, a military identification card, passport, or driver license.”