North Castle's Threefold War on DXM


BOSTON The Nextstep unit of North Castle Partners has launched three Web sites on behalf of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. The sites are designed to educate teens about the dangers of abusing over-the-counter drugs.

"We wanted to take a peer-to-peer approach to get the stories out in a way where the reader could question their own behavior and make their own decisions on how to change it," said Jim Davis, president of Nextstep, the interactive division of Stamford, Conn.-based independent North Castle.

Teens visiting are directed to accounts of former DXM abusers. (DXM is slang for commonly abused cough and cold medicines, which are also referred to as DEX, robo, triple-C and tussin.) The text begins with the headline, "The sick truth about taking cough medicine to get high."

One teenager, Jack, tells the story of getting high on cough syrup: "I tried it. It was crazy. I felt like I saw things more clearly on it. I focused on things like nature and God. I was laughing at things that weren't funny and I was crying at things that weren't sad. I was definitely tripping: I saw colors and shapes floating around and felt completely detached from my body. But it was gross."

He continues: "Vomiting wasn't the worst of it. I was totally out of it: confused, dizzy and uncoordinated. My heart was beating fast and I had trouble breathing. I couldn't even move or talk sometimes ... If you're thinking about using this stuff just be aware that there is nothing lower in the drug world."