Mobile App Teaches Teens About The Negative Effects Of DXM Abuse Using Robots

By Seth Ferranti 12/23/16

The game simulates the effects of dextromethorphan on motor skills and teaches the user how to deal with DXM abuse in social situations.

Dextrobots from DXM Labworks
Photo via DXM Mstrs/YouTube

DXM Labworks teaches teenagers about the negative consequences of getting high on dextromethorphan (DXM), an active ingredient in over-the-counter cough syrups and combination cold medicines.

A 2008 study claimed that one out of every 10 teens in the United States had abused DXM products, making DXM more popular than cocaine, ecstasy, LSD and meth in that age group. Even though DXM products are safe when used as intended, taking huge doses of cough medicine can pose serious risks and even produce hallucinogenic trips. 

To combat this growing trend of young people getting high on cough syrup, DXM Labworks has produced a teen-focused drug prevention mobile game, available on both iTunes and Google Play, that delivers an anti-drug message through a series of interactive mini-games on the app. 

When you log into the app, it welcomes you to DXM Labworks and gives you a primer on the game:

“After years of research in the laboratory, we’ve developed Dextrobots to simulate the negative reactions that getting high on DXM can cause. As a lab technician your job is to control the Dextrobots and note how they perform. When your Dextrobot performs too poorly in an experiment, friends will leave. Once all three of your Dextrobot’s friends have left, the simulation will end and the results will be calculated. Complete as many experiments as possible before losing all three of your Dextrobot’s friends. Get ready to activate your Dextrobot!”

There is a page to create a custom Dextrobot and even a tutorial that you can watch before you play. The experiments are easy game-like interactions that focus on the Dextrobot losing its basic motor skills. You as the operator are tasked with the responsibility of trying to correct the situation. Using the Dextrobots, the game walks the user through familiar social scenes that teens might be involved in and also shows them possible responses to utilize when someone around them is getting high. 

By simulating the negative human physical reactions and social interactions that can occur during DXM abuse, DXM Labworks aims to condition teens to recognize the bad and addictive behavior by reinforcing the averse consequences of getting high on a drug like DXM. 

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After landing on the US Marshals Top-15 Most Wanted list and being sentenced to a 25 year sentence in federal prison for a first-time, nonviolent LSD offense, Seth built a writing and journalism career from his cell block. His raw portrayals of prison life and crack era gangsters graced the pages of Don DivaHoopshype and VICE. From prison he established Gorilla Convict, a true-crime publisher and website that documents the stories that the mainstream media can’t get with books like Prison Stories and Street Legends. His story has been covered by The Washington PostThe Washington Times, and Rolling Stone.

Since his release in 2015 he’s worked hard to launch GR1ND Studios, where true crime and comics clash. GR1ND Studios is bringing variety to the comic shelf by way of the American underground. These groundbreaking graphic novels tell the true story of prohibition-era mobsters, inner-city drug lords, and suburban drug dealers. Seth is currently working out of St. Louis, Missouri, writing for The FixVICEOZY, Daily Beast, and Penthouse and moving into the world of film. Check out his first short, Easter Bunny Assassin at You can find Seth on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.