Dextromethorphan High: What Are DXM Plateaus And DXM Trip

Last Updated: June 16, 2020

Does dextromethorphan make one high? Dextromethorphan has therapeutic and psychoactive properties. And the DXM drug high also has its positive and negative sides and dangers.
Dextromethorphan high consists of 4 main stages of high feelings, so-called “Plateaus.” There are also many terms for DXM recreational use: DXM High, “Robo-Tripping,” and DXM trip, which are often used synonymously.

What Is DXM Robotripping?

Robotripping is a slang term for dextromethorphan trip. A significant proportion of cough suppressant products can be used for Dextromethorphan HBR high, as they contain the hydrobromide variant of this chemical. The exact nature of such a trip depends on the dextromethorphan HBR dosage. Dextromethorphan Polistirex high has a more prolonged onset than the HBR, and longer half-life, which makes this drug easier to detect via dextromethorphan drug test.

Ways Of Taking DXM To Get High

Most frequently, recreational users will ingest dextromethorphan via cough syrups, dextromethorphan tablets, or capsules. Quite regularly, ”robotrippers” will consume dextromethorphan and guaifenesin as these drugs are often found together in cough medications. This is why many recreational users extract dextromethorphan to avoid ingesting large quantities of cough syrup that contains other substances.

Smoking DXM

One of such alternative ways to ingest this medicine is by smoking the extracted contents. This technique produces uncontrollable, intense trip and an extremely fast onset of the trip, and cause great harm on the other hand.

Snorting DXM

Snorting DXM is perhaps the most dangerous way to ingest this drug, as it will cause nasal damage. Recreational users often experience sharp, unbearable pain while snorting a powder of DXM.
snorting dxm powder

DXM Lean

Dextromethorphan lean is the mixture of a cough syrup containing this drug and soda. Drinking large quantities of cough syrup to get high may be unpleasant. This is why promethazine dextromethorphan lean became popular, as the taste of the syrup is diluted.

A recipe of lean with dextromethorphan is easily accessible on the Internet, as it is pretty simple. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens, adolescents are more likely to resort to this method of consumption, as it is cough syrups are easy to find.

Is 30 mg dextromethorphan enough for lean? This is a pretty low dose, hardly enough to cause any psychoactive effects. At least 150-200 mg dose is needed to feel the onset of the first effects of the drug.

Symptoms Of Robotripping

At lower doses, it may be hard to assert that someone is robotripping unambiguously.

Recreational users often experience the onset of pleasant feelings and sensations. On the downside, robotripping symptoms are frequently aggravated by combined alcohol and dextromethorphan hydrobromide together.

Expected high effects:

  • Closed-eye visuals
  • Feeling of relaxation
  • Mild to intense euphoria

Negative dextromethorphan high symptoms:

  • Unstable gait
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • General lack of coordination
  • Respiratory dysfunctions

DXM Plateaus As The Stages Of DXM High

DXM plateaus are the phases or stages dextromethorphan trip. There are 4 plateaus of DXM high, starting from low doses up to extremely high and potentially harmful doses. Robotripping won’t normally lead to a fatal outcome, although some cases are documented. Getting high on a combination of dextromethorphan and other drugs (such as DXM and DPH) is unpredictable and has higher chances of a fatal outcome.

Unfortunately, it is sometimes hard to keep track of the dose, which can lead to an unpleasant trip.

Different DXM levels (plateaus) sometimes overlap quite fast and imperceptibly, especially when the person is overwhelmed by the experience. This is why it’s essential to learn the relationship between different dextromethorphan high effects relate and plateaus.

First Plateau

How long does it take for DXM to kick in and to give the user a euphoric feeling? Roughly speaking, it will take at least 30 to 60 minutes for HBR dextromethorphan to start working, while the threshold dose is about 100 mg of the substance. DXM come up is much longer when consuming Polistirex form.

How many milligrams of DXM is enough to get high? There is no universal dextromethorphan dosage to get high.

Most cough syrups contain about 350 mg of the substance, per bottle, which is why it’s so easy to get high using them. Tablets and capsules usually have 15-25 mg of this drug per unit. A third of the bottle or about 7 capsules/tablets are enough to get an average person high.

1st plateau effects:

  • mild euphoria
  • audible distortions
  • changed gravity perception

Second Plateau

For most people, taking at least 200 mg of the drug will cause typical signs of the DXM 2nd plateau. The second plateau is marked by:

  • more intense DXM euphoria and exaltation
  • heavy perception changes
  • vivid imagination
  • DXM visuals (closed eye visuals)

Is dextromethorphan a stimulant? This FAQ mostly pertains to the second Plateau, as some signs of the second plateau of high resemble the effects of amphetamines and other stimulants.

Furthermore, peculiar, mystical, and life-changing experiences can take place during this phase. In an experiment issued in psychopharmacology, subjects were administered a dose of dextromethorphan or psilocybin (the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms). Most of them believed they were given psilocybin, when in reality experimenters administered them high doses of dextromethorphan. This is why psychedelic, unusual experiences are to be expected when “robotripping.”

psychedelic experience of dxm robotripping

Third Plateau

By now, consciousness has been profoundly altered. Dissociative states, like depersonalization and derealization, are not uncommon. People who take more than 300 mg of the chemical are likely to experience this kind of trip. Movements and gait start to become grossly uncoordinated, and depth-perception deteriorates.

How long does DXM last? During the third plateau, a lot of users anxiously ask the same question. The answer depends on the type of taken drug. If people get high on HBR variant, effects won’t last longer than 8 hours, even when extreme doses are consumed. On the other hand, tripping on Polistirex form might last longer than 12 hours. Fast/too early redosing of this form of dextromethorphan is a potential problem because this form of the drug has a more prolonged onset of effects.

Dextromethorphan 3d plateau effects are:

  • hallucinations and other perceptual distortions get more prominent
  • whole trip becomes more and more chaotic and confusing
  • intense dextromethorphan hallucinations appear
  • anxiety increase

Fourth Plateau

Taking more than 500 mg of the cough syrup drug will induce DXM 4th plateau. Dextromethorphan high blood pressure is one of the chief hazards of this phase, and this mainly affects people with cardiac problems.

4th Plateau is characterized by:

  • walking becomes extremely impaired in this phase (“robo-walk”), and a lot of injuries may stem from this symptom
  • hallucinations that appear in this stage are extremely vivid and delirious
  • most users become functionally anesthetized (cannot move)
  • in some dextromethorphan psychosis cases, anesthesia wanes and people act out in rage or extreme fear

When the high eventually ends, users experience DXM afterglow effects. Afterglow usually refers to altered visual perception (e.g., colors are more vivid; objects leave traces when moving, etc.). The term also pertains to any after-effects that ensue after the main phases of the high.

Plateau Sigma

Continuous re-dosing will lead to Plateau Sigma. Dosages above 1000 mg cause DXM plateau sigma.

Dextromethorphan sigma effects are:

  • amnesia
  • complete dissociation from reality
  • inability to move

As large doses of medicine are needed to reach this stage of the high, some people experience digestive problems (due to a large amount of cough syrup). At this point, it becomes hard to differentiate robotripping from other highs, for instance, DXM vs. PCP, or dextromethorphan vs. psychedelics. People who reach Plateau Sigma risk some extremely adverse DXM effects on the brain.

Dextromethorphan High Experience: DXM Trip Report

What does DXM feel like? According to dextromethorphan trip reports, and DXM guides found on the Internet it is often unpredictable, and fast-changing.

One self-report Internet study on use trends among dextromethorphan users found that a typical consumer is a male, 16-20 years old. Those who tried the drug are more likely to do it again, as 56.5 % of participants admitted repeated consumption. The curiosity and openness to new experiences were the most frequent reasons for trying this medicine. Individuals frequently experience difficulties with walking (74%), visual distortions (73%), and altered perception of time (42%).

After consuming more than 600 mg of the drug, one user described DXM experience like the head was split open horizontally in the middle of the eye line, making see two worlds at the same time.

dxm high feeling and trip

DXM ego death is an extremely unpleasant experience linked with derealization and depersonalization effects, mentioned earlier. There are other, albeit less unpleasant experiences like DXM itch or constipation. The DXM trip length can sometimes last more than 8 hours. Sudden cessation of use after long periods of getting high will cause numerous dextromethorphan DXM withdrawal symptoms.

DXM Robotrip Help And Prevention

Effects of Plateau and Sigma high can be avoided by using nighttime cold medicine without dextromethorphan and many alternatives. If any of the aforementioned reactions are noticed, call 911 immediately.

While robotrip people are often scared and anxious, especially when the high becomes too intense. Just being alongside them may soothe their fear and help them get through the bad trip.

Robotripping in both teens and adults can be prevented by a timely intervention led by a psychotherapist or a consultant. In the case of complications associated with severe trip, suitable treatment options will be selected. Sometimes, further aggravation of robotripping-related problems can only be impeded by visiting a drug rehabilitation clinic.

Despite the dextromethorphan is safe in pregnancy, pregnant women should avoid dextromethorphan trip to prevent any chance of harming a child.

Page Sources

  1. The National Institute on Drug Abuse Blog Team. Cough and Cold Medicine (DXM and Codeine Syrup). 2019.
  2. Rammer L, Holmgren P, Sandler H. Fatal intoxication by dextromethorphan: a report on two cases. 1988.
  3. Chad J. Reissig, Lawrence P. Carter, Matthew W. Johnson, Miriam Z. Mintzer, Margaret A. Klinedinst, Roland R. Griffiths. High doses of dextromethorphan, an NMDA antagonist, produce effects similar to classic hallucinogens. 2012.
  4. Zajac M, Andrzejczyk A, Kuich A, Tyrańska-Fobke A, Waldman W, Sein Anand J. [Recreational usage of dextromethorphan--analysis based on internet users experiences]. 2013.

Published on: August 6th, 2019

Updated on: June 16th, 2020

About Author

Peter J. Grinspoon, MD

Dr. Peter Grinspoon is an experienced physician with long-term clinical practice experience. As a former analgesic addict, Dr. Grinspoon knows precisely how important it is to provide patients with effective treatment and support. Medical writing for him is the way to communicate with people and inform them about their health.


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