Growing Teen Abuse of Snurf Pills
Experts Say Abuse of 'Herbal' Snurf Pills, Over-the-Counter Drugs Is Up in Young Teens
WebMD News Archive
Snurf Pills Herbal? continued...
"They say it is not illegal and that it's an herb, so adolescents may
think it is actually healthy for you," Windle says. "This is a clever
marketing gimmick to sell it online. You remove any guilt these adolescents may
have about taking a drug."
Moreover, Windle says that since these drugs are not illegal, teens often
feel that they are more acceptable to peers and even to parents than are
illegal drugs such as marijuana.
Yet both the desired effects and the side effects can be devastating. At
extreme doses, Levine says, DXM causes the same kinds of dissociative symptoms
-- memory loss, depression, anxiety, detachment
from self, sense of unreality, blurred sense of identity -- seen with ketamine,
a very dangerous drug of abuse known as "special K."
"DXM definitely has toxicity. At the drug doses the kids take -- six to
12 times the regular dose -- you can have serious toxicities, especially if
they take cough syrup that contains antihistamines or Tylenol,"
she says. "Even at lower doses that give some impairment, kids can get into
dangerous situations. It is the combination of toxicity and impairment that
leads to harm."
Windle warns that "these products can produce a very severe side effect
that under some conditions could require hospitalization or even result in
Levine warns parents to take stock of their medicine cabinets, including
"I would just warn parents to be cognizant of what their children are
like; to know their daily routines and to know if they are too tired, or if their school
performance off," she says. "Talk to kids. They should know these are
serious medicines. Injuries and even deaths can occur."