Slang Terms

Teens could be talking or texting about getting high on over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine without you even realizing it. There are many slang words for dextromethorphan (DXM) abuse.
Learn them, listen for them, and talk to your teens if you hear them using the slang.

  • DXM

    A common abbreviation for dextromethorphan, a drug in many cough and cold medicines. It's abused by some teens because it can cause hallucinations and dissociative effects at high doses.

  • Dex or Drex

    Street terms for cold and cough medicines with dextromethorphan.

  • Dexing

    Getting high on products with dextromethorphan.

  • Lean

    Also known as purple drank, purple lean, sizzurp, dirty sprite, and lean drink—is a combination of prescription cough syrup containing codeine, soda, and sometimes hard candy. Some teens use the term more broadly to describe dextromethorphan abuse as well.

  • Orange crush

    A term for some cough medicines with dextromethorphan or codeine. It may stem from the orange-colored syrup of certain brands.

  • Poor man's PCP, or Poor man's X

    Products with dextromethorphan, since they are inexpensive, but can cause effects similar to those of other drugs of abuse (PCP or ecstasy) at high doses.

  • Red devils

    Another term for cough medicine tablets which may be small and red.

  • Red hots

    A term for capsules or tablets with dextromethorphan. The term comes from small red cough medicine pills of some brands.

  • Robo

    Usually a reference to cough syrup with dextromethorphan. While it derives from the brand name Robitussin, it is common slang for any cough syrup.

  • Robo-dosing

    Abusing products with dextromethorphan, like cough syrups.

  • Robo-fizzing

    Combining cough medicine with soda or alcohol.

  • Robotard

    A term for someone who abuses dextromethorphan.

  • Robo-tripping

    Abusing products with dextromethorphan. The term refers to the hallucinogenic trips that people experience at high doses.

  • Rojo

    Cold and cough medicines with dextromethorphan. "Rojo" is Spanish for "red" and refers to the color of some syrups and pills.

  • Skittles

    Usually applied to Coricidin tablets with dextromethorphan since they have a size and shape similar to the candy.

  • Skittling

    Another term for abusing products with dextromethorphan. It derives from the brand name Coricidin, since the tablets have a size and shape similar to the candy.

  • Syrup head

    Someone who uses cough syrups or other products with dextromethorphan, codeine, or promethazine to get high.

  • Triple C’s or CCCs

    A term for Coricidin tablets with dextromethorphan (slang from "Coricidin Cold and Cough").

  • Tussin

    Another term for cough syrup with dextromethorphan.

  • Tussing

    A term for using products with dextromethorphan.

  • Velvet or velvet syrup

    Cough syrup with dextromethorphan.

  • Vitamin D

    Another term for medicines with dextromethorphan.