When a person has a common cold, they often reach for over-the-counter medications to ease their symptoms. This includes a popular medication called Nyquil. For many, it’s merely a way to feel better after a few dosages, but using it can become a real problem for others. Everyone knows about the abuse of street and prescription drugs, but is Nyquil addictive? It can be for some. Tampa Bay Recovery explores this question and offers help for those who struggle with substance use disorders.
What is Nyquil?
Nyquil is sold over the counter in stores and pharmacies across the country. It is a medication used to treat symptoms of the common cold, flu, and similar ailments. Vicks manufactures this product and includes specific dosing instructions about how much to use and how often. Most people take Nyquil for a few days to relieve symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, congestion, sore throat, and headaches. The drug is also known for helping people fall asleep, which proves helpful whenever a person is sick and needs to sleep. Nyquil contains three active ingredients: acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine succinate.
Is Nyquil Addictive?
Most people who use Nyquil treat it as intended and only take it for a short while when they have a cold or similar type of illness. However, for some, Nyquil abuse becomes a problem. Is Nyquil addictive for them? It can reach that state, and the person will require professional help to stop using it. When taken in large dosages, Nyquil can cause a person to feel high. This is because ingesting amounts of the ingredient dextromethorphan higher than recommended on the packaging can cause a feeling of inebriation. It can even reach the point of causing a person to experience hallucinations. If too much is ingested, a person can even overdose on Nyquil.
Several years ago, it became popular among some people to drink something called sizzurp, also known as lean or purple drank. This is a combination of cough syrup that contains codeine mixed with carbonated soda and a sweet-tasting candy, such as Jolly Ranchers. Although Nyquil does not contain codeine, some people use it to make sizzurp when they do not have access to prescription cough syrups with codeine. The goal of drinking sizzurp is to achieve a feeling of being high. This can be particularly appealing to people who do not have access to prescription or illegal drugs or cannot afford them.
In addition to using Nyquil to get high, some people start taking it to help them sleep. Nyquil is known for helping people get to sleep quickly and stay asleep. Unfortunately, this can result in someone abusing it for that reason, rather than speaking to their doctor about finding alternative and healthy ways to adjust their sleep cycle. Someone who is addicted to alcohol but cannot obtain it sometimes becomes desperate enough to drink household items that contain alcohol. NyQuil Liquid contains 10 percent alcohol, and someone who is in the depths of alcoholism may consume an unsafe amount of it to quiet their withdrawal symptoms.
Signs of a Nyquil Addiction
Someone who has become addicted to Nyquil may think it’s not a real problem because they are taking an over-the-counter medication. However, addiction to any substance should be taken seriously and addressed by someone who treats substance use disorders. Common signs of a Nyquil addiction include:
- Craving it when not using it
- Needing to increase the amount taken because of developing a tolerance
- Unable to sleep or sleep well without taking it
- Feeling restless
- Stomach pain
- Blurred vision
How is Nyquil Addiction Treated?
Someone who has become addicted to Nyquil will need professional intervention to help them stop taking it. The first step in treatment is going to detox. This provides a setting that allows the individual to receive supervision from medical experts to help keep them safe. They can also be provided with medications that help minimize withdrawal symptoms and make the detox process easier to get through.
The next step is moving to either residential or outpatient treatment. If a Nyquil addiction proves severe enough, it may require a person to live in a facility for several weeks to undergo residential treatment. For others, outpatient care provides the support they need. Outpatient care requires the individual to attend several types of therapy that help them overcome addiction. They travel to a facility for their appointments but still live in their own homes. Medical and psychological support will continue to be provided after detox to help ease withdrawal symptoms and make a full recovery possible.
Find Help for Drug Addiction Today in Tampa, FL
Have you found yourself taking Nyquil for non-medical purposes and aren’t able to stop? This powerful over-the-counter drug can cause havoc for someone who abuses it, but they may think everything is fine because it’s not an illegal or prescription drug. If you are asking yourself, “Is Nyquil addictive?”, you may have a problem. Tampa Bay Recovery provides access to detox and a series of outpatient programs that help people stop using Nyquil. Our therapists are trained to treat addiction and know how to help people learn to become sober again.
For more information about our program for addiction, visit our admissions page now. We’d love to talk with you about how we can help you change your life.