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Robo-Tripping

  /   Sunday February 25, 2007  

Here I am with the promised sequel to this post about the need to solve “the root of the problem.”

A couple of weeks ago I went to a continuing education conference for pharmacists. The main thing that caught my eye was an problem that was called “Robo-Tripping.” What is this? Well, you may or may not know this, but most cough medicine that is sold without a prescription (including Robitussin DM) contain dextromethorphan as the active ingredient. Apparently, some teenagers have figured out that they can use it to get high. It’s called Robo-Tripping, but it can be done with any product containing dextromethorphan.

Needless to say, this is very dangerous. Dextromethorphan indeed can cause a “high” (or even hallucinations) at high doses. It can also cause cardiovascular problems and even death. If this weren’t enough, many (probably most) preparations containing dextromethorphan may also contain decongestants, acetaminophen (generic name for Tylenol), or antihistamines. In other words, there are other things that one may overdose on while they are abusing dextromethorphan.

The results are predictable. Whenever something happens, we have to make another law. There are states wanting to limit the sale of the products to minors. However, my point here is not to make a judgment on whether these laws are necessary. They probably are, but they are part of a disturbing pattern that no one seems to have the courage to address. If we don’t address it, teenagers will find something else to get high on, and we’ll be back to having to make yet another law. Laws, though often necessary, do cost money and complicate people’s lives.

These problems have a root. That root can be looked at from a number of angles. The basics of the issue are a loss of purpose in an increasingly secularized society and the decline of the family. When the purpose of life has been lost or at least made harder to find, the kids find something to drown out the misery. When Mom and Dad aren’t there in a loving manner, the kids seek consolation somewhere else, and rarely is it something that is good for them. Even if it is something good for them, they may use it to a degree that it becomes an addiction.

I never was a big fan of the party scene, but I have been to some parties where several had a little too much to drink. I’m sure not every one is like that, but I can certainly testify to situations that I’ve been in when God has been taken out of the picture. People may tell you how much fun they are having, but if everything is so great, then I have to wonder why we needed that heavy bass beat to make it darn near impossible to think or hold a significant conversation. I also wonder why we needed the excess of alcohol to at least temporarily wipe out what brain cells were left. This has long been unappealing to me, though only recently have I been able to articulate it.

This is the problem that we are going to have to solve if we ever wish to win the culture war that we are in. The solutions are many and varied, and most are not the kind of things that our government will solve for us. I don’t claim to have them all, but I’ll bring some ideas forth in a later post.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized

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