Cough medicine bill passed

Legislators hope to curb abuse of cough medicines

California will become the first state to require that store clerks perform an ID check when customers attempt to purchase over-the-counter cough medicine containing dextromethorphan, or DXM.

Starting on Jan. 1, anyone attempting to purchase brands like Robitussin-DM, Mucinex-DM, Delsym, Coricidin or Nyquil must present proof that they are over 18, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The bill was passed in reaction to a growing abuse problem, as DXM has been the most common substance reported by teenagers contacting the California Poison Control System since 2003.

When consumed in large quantities, DXM produces a euphoric high and hallucinations, but can also lead to rapid heartbeat, involuntary muscle movements, liver damage, seizures and death in rare cases.

“This is really nasty stuff with very serious consequences,” said the bill’s author, state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto.

Violations of the law will be punished as an infraction, like current alcohol and tobacco laws.