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There are many medications that can result in an addiction. Teenagers are falling into Dramamine addiction because it’s possible for them to buy the drug. Notorious for being experimental at that age, once they hear about an over the counter drug that gets them high when abused, many teens will try it out. Over the counter drugs can be abused because there is no paper trail showing how much is being purchased by an individual. Because this fact is generally not known among the general public, more and more people become addicted to these types of medications every year, and most of them do so without realizing it. Loved ones, friends and co-workers may not take it seriously while the user ignores any red flags that addiction to Dramamine is occuring. Generally an addict doesn’t want to admit addiction anyway.
One of the medications that’s chronically abused, and has a high addictive potential is Dramamine. Dramamine is also known as Dimenhydrinate. When it is abused at higher doses than recommended, the results can be devastating.
Perhaps you’ve been using the medication because you needed it, without realizing that it could potentially be addictive. You may have already formed an addiction to it, and if that’s the case, help is available for you to give you the support you need to stop. Dramamine addiction treatment is a great tool that you can use right away.
You will see that Dramamine comes with risks. You can develop an addiction and when mixed with other drugs, it can cause overdose leading to death. It is particularly popular with teenagers because they can buy it over the counter. They can just walk into a pharmacy and buy as much as they want. There is a euphoric effect when abused and people will often mix alcohol with it for a greater effect of both substances. This is also the case with a variety of prescription medications. Dramamine and the other drug feed off of each other to give a greater high and increase risks. Dramamine represents the largely unrealized dangers of over the counter medication. Here’s what you should know about this motion sickness relief drug.
Dimenhydrinate is in Dramamine and Gravol. There is also generic brands of medication for motion sickness. Dimenhydrinate itself is a combination of salt as well as two drugs which are diphenhydramine and 8-chlorotheophylline. It is the dimenhydrinate that is the primary constituent and what causes the medicinal effect. 8-Chlorotheophylline accompanies the medication to counteract the drowsiness. It derives from a drug that is related to caffeine.
Dramamine (Dimenhydrinate/Gravol) is a medication used to cope with or prevent motion sickness and the nausea that comes with it. The drug is available in a few forms such as pills, liquid, and suppositories. It’s an antihistamine that helps relieve nausea or vomiting from a variety of causes.
There has been abuse of the drug which would take some fairly high doses to get a desired high. Some of the effects include hallucinations and euphoria. Patients with psychiatric issues may abuse the drug to feel less anxious. Many over the counter medications like this are being misused when someone takes more than the suggested amount. There is a concern of dependence when abused or not used correctly.
There are some areas where dimenhydrinate is stored away and sold under the supervision of a pharmacist now. There is a growing concern of Dramamine abuse but currently there are no official restrictions and many parts of the US sell it openly. There has been clinical evidence to support the fact that there is the potential to abuse this drug and develop and addiction.
There is a normal amount of Dramamine that should be taken. When it’s not abused, you stand very little risk of becoming dependent on it. It’s when you take larger doses that are measured up against your body weight that it becomes abuse. Dramamine abuse is what puts you at a higher risk of dependency and addiction. If you take between 200-1200 mg of the medication, it can cause hallucinogenic effects. There can also be a sedative effect when mixed with alcohol. This creates a greater risk of side effects when mixed together and taken in high amounts.
The wide range of amounts are based on the body weight of the user. Studies have found that the lethal dose is 500mg per kilogram. This was based on a study with lab rats and can be different in humans.
Dimenhydrinate is the actual medication where Dramamine is the brand name. It is a combo of diphenhydramine and theophylline. If someone is experiencing things like motion sickness or vertigo, they can take this medication. It is a ethanolamine and histamine antagonist that has anti-allergic activity. The working ingredients blocks H1 receptors so histamine can’t act on areas within the body. It prevents motion sickness and any of the symptoms that are associated with like getting dizzy or feeling nauseous.
While this over the counter medication isn’t as addictive as prescription medications, there is still a risk. You’d be surprised how excessively a person can treat a drug, especially if it gives the person a sense of calm and a feeling of euphoria. This taps into the brain’s reward system which is the foundation of many addictions that are formed.
When someone abuses dimenhydrinate, there are long term effects that are extremely damaging to your quality of life. This includes temporary amnesia if you’ve been using the drug for a long time. This is due to the decrease of acetylcholine in the body from taking it. Dependency is most likely when you take Dramamine more than 4 times the regular dose that is recommended for your body weight.
Dramamine was developed to help people who don’t do well when they travel. People who get motion sickness when they’re on airplanes, cars, or boats. It is a way to alleviate the symptoms of sickness but shouldn’t be used chronically. It is normally meant to be used “few and far between” when necessary. When you take Dramamine, it can be useful in alleviating and prevention of the following:
It’s important to follow the directions on the box. If you’re doctor prescribes Dramamine for you, make sure to take as directed. If you don’t understand the directions, make sure to discuss it with your pharmacist or the doctor that prescribed it to you. This medication should be ingested. It doesn’t need to be taken with food.
It’s important to use a special measuring device as opposed to a household spoon as you might be getting the wrong dose. There are also chewable tablets which you should chew before you swallow them. How much you take will depend on a few things which includes how old you are, your medical condition, and how well the drug works for you. This is important because if you don’t take the right doses, you are susceptible to getting high off Dramamine. If you’re looking to prevent motion sickness, you should take this drug 30 to 60 minutes before travel or whatever activity is traditionally causing symptoms.
The active ingredient in Dramamine, dimenhydrinate is what would cause the side effects. It is normally mild for everyone. There are some symptoms that could develop however. Abusing Dramamine is hard on the body. This drug affects the central nervous system. Within the CNS, there are effects to the limbic system and hippocampus. This is what causes amnesia in some people and confusion. In the autonomic nervous system, there is an effect which will cause your legs to feel heavy. It is the at the sympathetic postganglionic junctions that the medication can influence it and cause many of the side effects of dimenhydrinate.
The most common side effects include:
As Dramamine commonly causes drowsiness and dizziness, it’s dangerous to drive or do activities that are dependent on your focus and concentrations. The symptoms of dizziness may reduce as the body becomes used to the drug. The thing is, it’s not common to take this drug all the time. It is supposed to be used when you might experience motion sickness symptoms. It is not likely that a person will use it long enough for the body to get adjusted to it.
If you have problems with your eyes such as optic neuritis of glaucoma, you may not be able to take Dramamine. If you have problems with your heart, you shouldn’t take this drug as it can cause Arrhythmia, heart palpitations, chest pain and problems with breathing. Any of these symptoms would be a sign that serious cardiac problems are occuring. Stop taking immediately if you experience any of these symptoms. You may become bruised easily or bleed abnormally. This would be the time to see your doctor.
The reason that you have a problem urinating could be because of kidney damage. This might become more obvious when you’re taking drugs with dimenhydrinate. If you’re experiencing problems with urination, go to your doctor. If you do have kidney damage diagnosed early, it’s possible to reverse the damage.
A risk when using Dramamine is the allergic reaction to it. This is what can cause it to be life-threatening. There are severe reactions for some which include:
Let your doctor know if you’re experiencing mood changes (this can include restlessness or confusion. Also, advise the doctor if you’re experiencing body tremors, a irregular heartbeat or challenges urinating.
Some people will misuse Dramamine as a means of self medicating themselves because they feel anxious. There is a sense of calm the drug can offer because it has sedative properties. This is especially beneficial for those who are dealing with anxiety disorders. Often, people with mood disorders of any kind don’t want anyone to know what they’re going through in their own minds. They isolate themselves and are actually more prone to drug addiction than the general public. As Dramamine is over the counter, the person can go from pharmacy to pharmacy with no trace of how much they have in their possession. They can stay under the radar and have “perceived” control over their life. The truth is, they are quietly developing a dual diagnosis disorder. A mental illness and a substance addiction. This is a complex issue to deal with when a person goes through addiction recovery. It can take much longer to help the person recover.
Dramamine is often used by females for the anorexic and sedative type effects. For a female who is suffering from anorexia, they will do anything to strive for skinny. It can become a co-occurring disorder when the person becomes addicted to Dramamine for the purpose of maintaining their weight. It’s not that effective of a weight loss medication but at the same time, there are indications of anorexic effects.
Video games are extremely popular. As televisions get bigger and the overall sensory experience increases, some people are actually getting motion sickness while they play. People, primarily young boys, will game for hours on end. The suggestion of taking Dramamine for when they play their game could be risky. If people play video games daily, which many do, they may be popping a few Dramamine daily. There is a risk of dependency with both the game and the drug.
While there hasn’t been much in the news about Dramamine itself, the active ingredient has experienced a lot of lime light. Dimenhydrinate is the medical ingredient in Dramamine. It is made up of diphenhydramine and 8-chlorotheophylline. Diphenhydramine is in Benadryl which has been widely abused. There are some stars that have experienced issues with Benadryl. Teens are abusing Benadryl because they like the high it gives them.
When allergies leave you sneezing, what do you turn to? Many of us choose Benadryl. But now more and more young people may not choose Benadryl for allergy relief, but instead, to get high. It seems to be a trend among rappers and youth. The working ingredient is diphenhydramine which is associated to the active ingredient in Dramamine. When you take a lot, it makes you drowsy and the user may hallucinate. The heart rate increases and blood pressure reduces. These are very similar symptoms to Dramamine.
In the social teen scene, they are downing fistful of the pills. Some substance about recovery programs have said they are seeing a rise in OTC medication addiction in their admissions.
Teens prefer the name brand DXM and Benadryl for OTC medications they can abuse for the high. Diphenhydramine in Benadryl gives a different effect than DMX. When teens use Benadryl, the high can include seeing streaks, falling asleep with the possibility of a seizure. When teens mix diphenhydramine with alcohol, the results can be devastating. That is often what they do. The risk becomes much greater.
Shad Moss, the rapper known as Bow Wow talked recently about his addiction experience. He was addicted to lean, which is a combination of promethazine/codeine-based cough syrup. This would be served up with soft drinks. He tweeted a message to his fans warning them to stay away from all types of drugs. Promethazine is pretty similar to Benadryl with the same active ingredients that are prevalent in Dramamine.
He had an addiction to the substance until Cincinnati. Like most addictions, there is a rock bottom. For Bow Wow, it was when he passed out as he came offstage after a show. When he woke up, he was in the hospital and was dealing with withdrawal symptoms. The codeine was the main concern throughout the detox period. It is the harder substance to get off of, being and opioid like heroin.
He was using lean daily and at one point was using at least seven time a day. The drug that was similar to Dramamine offers up sedative effects and when mixed with codeine, it can cause a user to feel a stronger high. This feeling can create a great addiction because there is a greater sense of pleasure which appeals to our reward system. Bow Wow has been clean for a few months and is warning people to use caution and don’t abuse drugs.
The working ingredient in Dramamine is dimenhydrinate, which can be harmful in large amounts. There is a risk of overdose as people abusing the drug will take high doses. There are a variety of symptoms that will affect many areas of the body when someone overdoses on this medication. The bladder, kidneys, sinus system (eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and throat), the heart and blood vessels and more. Here are the main symptoms that might help you figure out if someone has overdose on Dramamine.
Bladder and Kidneys
Eyes, Ears, Nost, Mouth, and Throat
The Heart and Blood Vessels
The Nervous System
Stomach and Intestines
It is most likely that a person will recover from a Dramamine overdose if they make it through the first 24 hours. There may be complications that occur though like brain damage from lack of oxygen or pneumonia. It’s rare for someone to die while overdosing on antihistamines. However, taking too much of it can cause major heart rhythm changes that are hard for the body to cope with. This has the potential to cause death.
There is a game that teens play in the US. They go into their parent’s medicine cabinets and take a few pills from one container, another few from a box. They go to a party, throw all the medication they stole into a bucket. Then they pass the bucket around the circle and take pills randomly from it. They ingest pills without knowing what they’ve mixed together or what reaction it will give them. This is happening in society. Dramamine is a household product that even teens can get at some pharmacies. When mixed with other drugs, it can be a totally different sensation and come with greater risks.
Dramamine already has the ability to cause dizziness, a feeling of lightheadedness, and sedation. If you are abusing the drug, these symptoms become more intense. So do the risks and negative side effects. Mixing other substances with the drug can cause a few different effects. Here are some of them.
Alcohol and Dramamine mixed together can intensify the symptoms of the drug. It also puts you at risk of overdosing. The effect of the two mixed together has a negative effects on the liver. It can cause liver damage. If you continue to use the two together for the long-term, you will likely experience irreversible damage to the liver.
Dramamine is often recommended for some of the heroin withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms include nausea and vomiting, which Dramamine helps with. There are high risks of taking the two together. Dramamine II can enhance the effects of opiates which can cause a greater risk of accidents and of course overdose. The brain is going into overdrive with the sensations of more intense euphoria or relaxation. This is likely why people would mix the two together but being that high can produce negative results. If you’re taking opioids, you should let your doctor know. They may not prescribe Dramamine if you are.
There is also the matter of harmless mixing of over-the-counter drugs. The thing is, it’s not always safe to do this. There are some topical products that can interact with Dramamine. Ointments, sprays and antihistamine creams can cause cause an interaction.
There are interactions that can cause addiction drowsiness when you’re taking other drugs. This includes:
This medication can also interfere with how your lab tests turn out. This includes allergy skin tests.
It is really rare that someone will die from Dramamine if they’re taking it normally. Even if you’re taking more than the prescribed amount, on its own, it's quite mild. However a healthy 19 year old woman experienced epilepticus and heart problems. She died less than 60 minutes after ingesting 5,000 mg of Dramamine. That is a lot of medication when you consider is 50mg-100mg every 4 hours. The maximum a person should take per day is 400mg.
She received medical attention almost immediately and they tried to resuscitate her with aggressively but the neurological damage she suffered was severe. She received surgery to remove a part of her large bowel. Her condition worsened however. There was very little brain activity which resulted in the decision to take her off of life support. She died. The study conducted showed that a dimenhydrinate overdose causes a rapid CNS stimulation. Death is likely to occur quickly (within 2 hours).
Dramamine is not likely to be taken recreationally which is why it is still an over-the-counter medication. However Dramamine is trendy to abuse among teenagers. It can prove to be deadly when taken outside of the recommended doses. If you have a teenager and they’ve taken too much Dramamine, signs may include:
Often teens will abuse the drugs with other medications. If you suspect this is happening, get medical help right away. You may also want to consider getting them treatment so they don’t continue to go down a road of self sabotage abusing over-the-counter medications.
Dimenhydrinate is found in some of the brand name and generic allergy medicines. In the case of Dramamine, it helps with nausea, vomiting, and motion sickness. Brand names such as Gravol, Marmine and Nico-Vert also have this ingredient in it.
There is a lot of attention on illicit street drugs but there is also a risk of over the counter drug addiction. Painkillers and cough medications are available for anyone to buy at many different establishment. Nobody questions you buying a few boxes of OTC medications. They even go on sale so you can stock up. There are OTC medications that contain codeine (which is an opioid) and alcohol. Appetite suppressants will often contain stimulants which can also become addictive.
Not only are OTC medications easy to get but they’re also cheap. While the medication has its purpose, it can also come with negative outcomes. Medications can be misused and abused in ways the manufacturer probably didn’t even imagine. One example of this is the date-rape drug Rohypnol. It is now sold on the black market but it wasn’t always considered a terrifying drug that ruined lives. It was actually a sleeping tablet that you would get prescribed. Some countries still make it available for those who can’t sleep.
There are many tranquilizers and sleeping pills that are similar in their effect but they haven’t been abused in the same way. There is an endless supply of dangerous prescription and OTC medications. They can cause addiction, overdose and a high that can cause accidents.
Addiction doesn’t know the difference between a line of coke and an OTC med for the common cough. When a drug suppresses or prevents the natural functioning of the body, this is how addiction occurs. For example, some drugs stimulate how much serotonin is produced in your body. When the drug is taken chronically, the body stops producing serotonin without the drug. Even laxatives can create havoc when taken for a long period of time. The body will have a hard time emptying out the bowels without a laxative. Tranquilizers can create a situation where the brain can’t use the relaxing chemicals that would allow you to be calm on your own.
OTC drug addiction is possible. It can happen with Dramamine and other drugs. An addiction can go unsuspected for a long time too because there is no paper trail of how many pills you’ve bought.
Addiction to Dramamine will begin with tolerance. You’ll be able to take higher doses in order to get the same results. This can lead to dependency which is separate from addiction. It is however, the bridge you’re crossing over where addiction is a risk. Abusing Dramamine by taking it at higher doses can result in several Dramamine addiction behaviors and symptoms, such as:
Some formulations of Dramamine also include Ibuprofen. When this common, over the counter pain reliever is consumed in higher dosages, there are some serious health risks. It can cause a heart attack or stroke. This is possible after just one use of Dramamine.
Quitting Dramamine if you’ve been using it regularly isn’t a great idea. This is especially true if you’ve developed a dependency or addiction to it. It might seem natural to just stop using the drug but it can cause a myriad of symptoms. Your brain is demanding that you give it what it wants. You might not realize that your extreme agitation towards others is a direct result of not taking a motion sickness pill but in reality, that’s what is happening.
Stopping the use of a drug one day after taking it often is referred to as quitting cold turkey, and this method is not recommended. Dramamine is not reported to have any real negative physical health consequences or withdrawal symptoms. That doesn’t mean there aren’t psychological Dramamine withdrawal symptoms to consider. Actually, the psychological symptoms can sometimes be more troubling than physical symptoms, and they are certainly enough to cause someone to go back to using.
If you believe you’ve become addicted to Dramamine, it’s not recommended for you to stop taking it abruptly. Doing so can result in any of the above withdrawal symptoms. This can cause you to go back to using Dramamine for the relief. That can drive you even further into your addiction. You may begin to feel that there is no way out but addiction has a way of making you feel isolated. You would rather hide your secret than ask for help. There are only 15% of addicts that will ever ask for help. The best way to find out what you should do is to talk with someone at a Dramamine addiction treatment center and find out their recommendations.
There is a fine line between Dramamine abuse and addiction. Dramamine abuse would refer to any instance of using the drug in a way other than how it was intended. For example, you may find that using it for motion sickness calms you down, and so you start to use it every time you begin to feel anxious. You may take more than is recommended because you’re taking it often enough that the body becomes used to it. This is known as tolerance. Addiction occurs the moment when you start to crave the drug, or when you begin to feel Dramamine withdrawal symptoms when it’s been a while since your last dose. An addiction to Dramamine can occur very quickly, especially if you’ve been taking it fairly regularly.
It is important not to underestimate the dangers of dimenhydrinate abuse. Dramamine can become addictive, resulting in the need for treatment. Depending on the length and severity of an individual’s symptoms and risks, medically supervised detox may be required. A qualified addiction specialist can evaluate an individual’s need for medically monitored detox. They will assess many things such as the person’s level of use. They will look at whether or not they were abusing other substances in addition to Dramamine. If you’re mixing substances, it could be a polysubstance dependence which is the desire to be high. These are the small details of your disorder that matter. There are specific treatments for each issue that surrounds addiction. There is also the possibility that you have a co-occurring disorder which is a mood disorder (anxiety/depression etc). This is a complex disease that again requires different treatment.
People who have developed an addiction to Dramamine may benefit from inpatient or outpatient therapy to address the onset and progression of their addiction. Treatment may involve individual, group, or family therapy focused on the origins of the addiction and will teach individuals with addictions how to build a sustainable recovery plan. While Dramamine is not a major drug of risk, there is the question behind the cause of addiction. Emotional issues that were repressed, life being too stressful and you’re not dealing with reality. The list goes on an on as to why you’d want to numb yourself. This is addressed in therapy and it could be an insightful journey where you can heal from wounds you weren’t even aware were there.
As the medication is still available as an over-the-counter drug, some people may underestimate the safety risks involved in misuse of Dramamine. There needs to be more research for us to fully understand the complete effects of abuse of this substance. Sometimes the not knowing what a drug is capable of is the scary part. Remember that at one point, heroin was given out as a medication for anyone who had a cough.
Even motion sickness pills may be abused by a person who enjoys the euphoric effects of high doses. Youth may abuse this drug because it is readily available where it is otherwise hard for them to obtain any kind of substance. Dimenhydrinate, best known as Dramamine, can cause delirium and hallucinations at high dosages. The abuser may be confused and suffer from amnesia.
Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) produces a dreamy, relaxed state when it is abused. It can also produce confusion, disorientation, vomiting, loss of coordination and hallucinations.
The side effects that come with Dramamine can cause certain behaviors to occur. This drug depresses the central nervous system, making it difficult to walk. If you try to walk, there is a risk you can fall down. There is a warning on the box that it can make you drowsy and it’s not recommended that you drive. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, diphenhydramine can be very unsafe for some people to use if they are going to drive. Their tests show longer reaction time and reduced ability to maintain one’s position in a lane or keep a consistent distance from the car in front. It was concluded that the effects of diphenhydramine can be even worse than the effects of alcohol. This was true even when the drug user did not think he was sleepy or inattentive.
Cough medications help people get some restful sleep, but the two main kinds of cough suppressants are also widely abused - and dangerous.
If too much dimenhydrinate is taken, it can trigger a heart attack or even result in death. The heart may beat too fast and become irregular. This can happen if you’re taking the right dose but is of course more risky when you abuse the drug.
Diphenhydramine and ibuprofen, found together in some formulas, increases one’s risk of serious or even fatal heart and blood vessel problems, such as heart attack or stroke.
Dimenhydrinate is associated with interference with kidney function. A reduction in urine output is a signal that kidneys are not functioning properly. If the drug is not discontinued, the kidneys may fail, requiring dialysis or transplant to save a person’s life.
In prescription medications, diphenhydramine is often combined with acetaminophen, a known toxin for the liver. When the drug is abused for the euphoric or hallucinogenic effects, the liver will take the majority of the load of breaking down these drugs. Liver failure is a common result of an overdose of acetaminophen.
The effect of the drugs on the stomach can cause stomach ulcers and bleeding.
The risk of overdosing on Dramamine is very real, and because it’s so easy to obtain this medication over the counter, your body may build up a tolerance to it quickly, and so you take more than you should. If you’ve become addicted to Dramamine, please understand that you’re not alone. Many people have reported addictions to this, as well as other over the counter medications. You do not have to struggle through your quit on your own.
If you or someone you love is abusing Dramamine or similar drugs, there is a risk of addiction. When this happens, risky behaviors can occur. The user will focus solely on obtaining the drug, being high, or coming down. It can get to the point where nothing else matters. They will start avoiding life’s responsibilities and heading into a downward spiral. If you are noticing that this is happening to a loved one, you can stage an intervention with professional help. If you are the one who is abusing Dramamine, know that there is a way out.