The new year marks a change in California when it comes to DXM. Not to be confused with the rapper, DMX, DXM is the abbreviation for Dextromethorphan. It’s the key ingredient of popular cough syrups. It’s also a favored choice of teens who mix the syrup with soda or sports drinks. Kids will also put in flavored candy like Jolly Ranchers or Skittles, to make the concoction more flavorful. You may have heard some of the slang variations like Slizzurp, Purple drank, lean, purple jelly, or Texas Tea.

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It’s been popularized by the hip hop community, and has even made its way into lyrics of some songs. If you want to read about the effect of it, Wikipedia has a pretty good explainer right here.

Well California lawmakers have identified the problem with DXM, and starting January 1st, minors will not be able to buy the product, and those syrups will be kept behind the counter, just like cigarettes. And you’ll need an ID to purchase it.

What’s been known as robotripping or skittling, may be a little more difficult to do. And even though an 18-year-old could go and buy cough syrup and give to his or her friends, the stigma with showing your ID at a counter to probably will not be a popular thing. No kids wants to walk into his neighborhood grocery store or pharmacy and be spotted as a habitual buyer of these products. After all, this is likely where the teen’s parents shop too.

Will this stop the trend of teens drinking cough syrup? No. But the new law should help curb some of this activity. Most parents aren’t even aware of just how popular this is. They need to be vigilant to not carry too much cough syrup at home. If kids are willing to steal pills from the medicine cabinet, they will steal cough syrup as well.

You have to applaud California lawmakers for enacting this ban. The state is the first to prohibit minors from buying these products. A state senator talked to the SFGATE.COM about this new law, “”By limiting the sale to minors, we hope to reduce the number of cases where there’s misuse or abuse of over-the-counter cough medications containing DXM,” said the bill’s author, state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto. “This is really nasty stuff with very serious consequences.”

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