What is Skittling?

Skittles Vodka

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Skittling Vodka

Today I discovered a killer of our teenagers and would like to share it with you. It is called skittling and it should not be a surprise to learn that there is a thriving subculture on the Internet that gives out advice and information on just how to skittle, what to skittle and what to add to make skittling even better.

Skittling is the taking of over the counter cough and cold medicine for the sole purpose of getting high.  It has many names but skittling and robotripping are the most common.  It is called skittling because a lot of the cold medicines are red and look like the candy skittles.  It is the DXM or dextromethorphan that gets the person high

Let me tell you how this all started.  I had a cold with a bad cough.  I bought some cold medicine, three different kinds and put them on the counter in my bathroom.  My teen son had his own bathroom and to be honest I didn’t think a thing about leaving the medicine out.

Anyway, I took the medicine and it made me feel icky so I quit taking it and tried new stuff. To make a long and miserable cold story short, I got better.  That weekend I was cleaning up and saw the bottles.  But I noticed the cough syrup was almost gone and so I opened the other bottles and sure enough all the pills were about gone.

Now I knew that taking cough syrup to get high had been around for years, but surely my son would not do that!?  I went to the computer and started to look it up.  It was called skittling and what I found out scared me.  I found that kids were taking it in such large quantities that at the least they were damaging their livers and at the most they were dying.  Yes DYING.

I was aghast and angry. My sons and I talk of everything. Surely this could not have been going on right under my nose and without me knowing?  So I waited.  You know the “Mom’s wait” vacillating between anger and fear.  While I waited I read up on it and learned.

My son was escaping and hallucinating and skittling and I missed it?  How can that be? I learned that there are over 250 products with DXM in it and the drug companies that make it don’t want it regulated even if it will keep our teens safe.  I learned that is a real addiction just like any other drug but that it was worse in a way because it was legal and easy to get.

I read the list of symptoms: restlessness, confusion, dizziness, double or blurred vision, slurred speech, impaired physical coordination, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, rapid heart beat, drowsiness, numbness of fingers and toes, and disorientation and wondered why anyone would want to feel that way.

Skittling abusers describe different “plateaus” ranging from mild distortions of color and sound to visual hallucinations and “out-of-body,” feelings of detachment from the environment and self, sensations, and loss of motor control.  I became panicky and ready to fight this with him all the way to health!

He came home; I tried hard not to attack. I had done the self Mom talk and I was ready.  Calmly I asked, “Are you skittling?”  He laughed and said, “Where did you hear about that? And no I am not; I am not that stupid, why?  You been on the internet again Mom?” So we talked about the missing medicine and found out it was one of his friends (who is now in treatment).

All I can say is that day I found a killer of our teenagers and it is called skittling.  It is important to communicate and keep aware of your home and what is going on in your world. Even the smallest of things can be an important clue to a problem.  Battle with knowledge and caring.

Filed under: Teen Issues

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