EDISON - New Jersey residents wishing to purchase cough syrup will soon have to visit a pharmacist to get it.
A new state law will place regulations on cough suppressants containing dextromethorphan (DXM). DXM is found in medications such as Robitussin, Nyquil and Delsym.
Anyone wishing to purchase any of these medications will have to get them from behind the pharmacy counter and will need identification to buy them. Pharmacies will keep a record so they know how much of the product a customer is purchasing.
The law also bans the sale of the drugs to minors.
The new law comes about due to the fact that some people use these medications in dangerous ways. DXM can be a hallucinogen, and some people use it to get high.
“This really is something that has kind of been masked over the years,” says pharmacist George Rusuloj. “Where you’re seeing it is kids ending up in the ER or ending up in the physician’s office.”
Side-effects of DXM abuse can include blurred vision, psychosis and even a coma.
Substance abuse counselor Daisy Wilson says the abuse of the medication can also lead to other issues.
“It leads to [the teens] missing school and not completing their education,” she says. “It leads to criminal thinking.”
Wilson says abusing DXM can also lead to the abuse of harder drugs.
The new law goes into effect Feb. 1.