It'll be a sobering 2012 for the sizzerp-sipping teens of California. As of January 1, state minors can add cough syrup — alongside porn and cigarettes — to the list of novelties to buy from the drugstore on their 18th birthday.

And they've got Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) to thank.

The NorCal politician introduced SB 514 last February, after catching wind of a scary new teen trend in which bored young hooligans are chugging cough suppresents containing the drug dextromethorphan, or DXM, to get high.

That's what watching hokey TV journalism will do to a pol. (Much in the tradition of the “teens getting drunk on vodka-soaked tampons” story.) The San Francisco Chronicle investigates:

[DXM is] found in popular medications such as Robitussin-DM, Mucinex-DM, Delsym, Coricidin and NyQuil.

Some teenagers, and even younger kids, down the drug in excessive quantities to get a euphoric high, an act known as “robotripping,” “skittling” or “dexing.” The drug is sometimes referred to as “poor man's PCP” for its hallucinogenic effects.

California is the first state to enact such a law. DXM now joins Salvia, nitrous oxide, toluene and spray paint on the list of chemicals unavailable to minors.

Though there's technically “no data on the prevalence of individuals under age 18 purchasing over-the-counter products containing dextromethorphan,” Sen. Simitian writes in the bill's comments:

“Ingesting too much cold medicine can be just as hazardous as drinking too much alcohol. And it is cheap, easy and legal for children to obtain. The California Poison Control System reports that dextromethorphan abuse calls have increased more than 850 percent in the last ten years.

This problem is serious and widespread. One in ten teenagers say they've used DXM to get high-making it more popular than LSD, cocaine, ecstasy or meth.”

At least the new legislation might curb California's self-inflicted douchetard population a tad (see video, below). That, or start a scary new teen trend of shoulder-tapping for cough syrup.

[@simone_electra / / @LAWeeklyNews]

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