What Are Triple C’s?

Effects and Dangers

Triple C is a popular slang term for Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold. The cold medication is sold as an effective decongestant and cough suppressant without a prescription at most drug stores.

Since the medicine is easy and cheap to buy, triple C’s abuse has risen in popularity with young people in recent years. It is also popular among teenagers because it’s not detected on drug tests.

What Are Triple C’s?

Triple C is a common cold medication used as a cough suppressant to help a cold or flu. The street name comes from Coricidin Cough & Cold pills labeled CCC.

In the past, triple C was more commonly known as “robotripping” with the over-the-counter medicine Robitussin.

Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold and its generic forms are usually safe and effective when used as directed. But in high doses, its active ingredient, dextromethorphan (DXM), can be dangerous and cause dissociative and hallucinogenic effects.

What Do Triple C’s Look Like?

Coricidin HBP is available in many forms but is usually sold as pills. The pills are small and red and are sometimes called skittles because they look like the famous candy brand.

triple cs

Triple C Effects

The effects of using triple C as an illicit substance can be devastating on anyone’s body and mental health, but especially on young people.

Because its effects can last anywhere from 6-24 hours, there is a risk that a user can overdose, which can lead to coma or death.

People using the medicine in excess usually seek a high that changes their sense of gravity – they feel like they are floating. Despite this feeling, some immediate adverse side effects after triple C or DXM abuse include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Slurred speech
  • Sweating
  • Impaired motor function
  • Agitation
  • Violence

Triple C pills can range in strength from 2.5mg to 30mg. However, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), when using these medicines for their drug-like effects, they are used in amounts ranging from 100 mg to 1500 mg. This equates to consuming an entire box of cold medicine (24 pills) to chase a temporary high with potentially lifelong health effects.

triple c abuse

Adverse Effects

Abusing triple C can alter a person’s ability to create and retain memories.

With chronic or repeated drug abuse, dextromethorphan users may display psychosis such as extreme agitation or violence, which creates a dangerous situation for the user and others in their environment.

After these outbursts, someone high on triple C may not remember their actions, further impacting their life.

Additionally, cough medicines are blended substances that contain other ingredients, such as acetaminophen, a common painkiller.

Acetaminophen causes liver damage when taken at high doses. People consuming half a pack of triple C’s or cold medicine pills easily exceed their daily limit of acetaminophen, putting themselves at significant risk for severe liver damage.

Taking massive doses to chase the high DXM provides while ignoring its other elements is a huge health risk, and abusing it can have long-lasting effects on someone who is still young.

Are They Dangerous?

So far, about 15 states have banned the use and sale of dextromethorphan in 2020.

Awareness is critical, and as more shop owners learn of the trend, they have begun to move these potentially habit-forming products behind their counters. Additionally, many stores refuse to sell in large quantities to teenagers.

The danger of triple Cs abuse and addiction lies far beyond their immediate effects and can impact a person for life if they begin using as a teenager.

Abuse of dextromethorphan has led to approximately 6000 emergency room visits per year since its approval in 1958.

Although it takes a high dose to get high in the first place, triple C overdose is possible with repeated use as tolerance levels are gained.

The immediate physical signs of triple C abuse can look like symptoms of many other addictions, so it is essential to be aware of its signs.

Excessive boxes of cold medicine in the garbage are a typical sign that many parents report, behavioral and attitude changes, or a dramatic slip in their young student’s grades.

triple c addiction treatment

Triple C Addiction

People with histories of substance use disorders may be at an increased risk of abusing over-the-counter cold medication. But, triple C addiction does not have to be a death sentence. Professional treatment is available.

At Northridge Addiction Treatment Center, our compassionate team of nurses and therapists are here to help. There are many pathways to freedom from addiction, and the first step begins with reaching out for support.

Because triple C/dextromethorphan does not display on drug tests, it is critical to be open and honest about frequency and quantity of use.

If you or a loved one is struggling with triple C addiction, our specialists are ready to help you find your path to recovery. Reach out today.

Find Meaningful Recovery

Our caring and compassionate specialists are eager to help you comfortably navigate this journey to recovery. Our individualized treatment plan, programs, and therapies may be a perfect match for you or your loved one. Let us assist you in living the happy life you deserve. It starts with a phone call.

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