Teenagers getting wasted on alcohol and cough syrup cocktails in Mallorca

The Balearic Health service has detected a new craze of young people aged between 12 and 15 years mixing alcohol or energy drinks with medicine such as cough syrups containing the active ingredients clonazepam or dextromethorphan in order to increase the effects of alcohol.

The former is a prescription psychotropic drug for epilepsy or panic disorders and may produce a hypnotic effect. The second is a cough syrup that can be purchased without a prescription.
The General Directorate of Pharmacy of the Regional Ministry of Health has issued a warning to chemists.

“It is a totally unhealthy practice because drugs should always be taken under their respective conditions and under the indication of a professional,” explains Nacho García who has raised the alarm.

This malpractice was detected years ago in other parts of Spain, and the Ministry of Health issued a warning in 2010 that one of the components used to make the syrups was becoming increasingly popular as a drug among young people.

If taken in excessive amounts, dextromethorphan can produce hallucinations similar to those produced by, for example, ketamine.

The warning is intended to make pharmacists more cautious “so that they can check that it is being used appropriately or, if they detect anything strange, they can deal with it”, García pointed out.

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