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RECO Intensive
140 NE 4th Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33483

Over-the-Counter Medication Addiction Treatment

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are drugs you can buy without a prescription. They’re used to treat a range of health issues, including nasal allergies, colds and flus, ear infections, aches, pains, and itching. OTC medications are sold at pharmacies, grocery stores, and even convenience stores.


OTC Medication Abuse

The active ingredients in some OTC medications can produce euphoric or hallucinogenic effects when taken in large enough quantities. Because of this, abuse of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines is a major problem, especially among teens and young adults. Here are some of the most abused OTC drugs:

  • Pseudoephedrine: This decongestant, often called “pseudo” on the streets, is in many OTC cold medicines. It helps clear up nasal congestion, but it also produces amphetamine-like effects. Because of this, pseudoephedrine has been used illegally to make methamphetamine. This is why many pharmacies now keep pseudoephedrine behind the counter and require a signature to get it.
  • Dextromethorphan (DXM): This ingredient is commonly found in OTC cough medicines like Robitussin. When taken in large doses, it can get a person high or cause hallucinations. But excessive doses can also cause vomiting, rapid heart rate, and even brain damage.
  • Dimenhydrinate: This motion sickness pill, more commonly known as Dramamine, can cause euphoria or hallucinations when taken in large quantities.
  • Loperamide: Abuse of the antidiarrheal medication loperamide, commonly known as Imodium A-D, has been on the rise. When taken in very large quantities or in combination with other drugs, it can produce effects similar to opioids.


Signs of OTC Drug Abuse

Abusing over-the-counter medications can lead to addiction (compulsive use) or dependence (tolerance). Signs of OTC drug abuse can include:

  • Intentionally taking the medication to get high
  • Taking more of the drug than needed or for a longer period than needed
  • Noticeable changes in personality or mood
  • Slurred speech
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Reduced productivity at work or school
  • Withdrawing from social situations or activities
  • Short-term memory problems


Get Treatment for OTC Addiction 

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to over-the-counter medications, it’s important to get help. Just because OTC medications are sold without a prescription doesn’t make them safe. These drugs still come with risks, especially when misused or used in combination with other substances.

RECO Intensive is a leading addiction treatment provider in South Florida. We offer a full range of addiction treatment services, from detox to residential treatment to sober living.

Many clients struggling with addiction to over-the-counter medications prefer our intensive outpatient program. Outpatient treatment is ideal for people with less severe addictions who need to keep working, going to school, or meeting family obligations. We strive to meet you wherever you are on your journey.

Get in touch to learn more about our Delray Beach over-the-counter drug rehab programs and schedule a tour of our upscale treatment centers.

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