Some Teens Are 'Butt Chugging' Cough Syrup

By John Lavitt 12/28/15

The bizarre trend continues to reincarnate itself online.


In a disgusting trend that continues to make the rounds on the internet, it appears that some American teenagers have resorted to "butt chugging" not just alcohol but cough syrup to get high.

The media has been reporting on this "popular" trend since as early as 1999, but it's reemerged every now and again. This time, cough syrup is involved. Whether by using a funnel, enema or soaked tampon to transfer the liquid into the rectum, the appeal of this method is to maximize inebriation while avoiding detection. The dextromethorphan-based cough syrup is absorbed into the bloodstream faster this way. 

Butt chugging alcohol became popular with college fraternities at the beginning of the 21st century. In 2012, University of Tennessee Pi Kappa Alpha member Alexander Broughton was treated for severe alcohol poisoning after allegedly butt chugging a box of cheap wine. With a blood alcohol level of over 0.4%, Broughton is lucky to be alive. His rectum was reportedly damaged, and the frat house was suspended indefinitely from campus after the incident.

The new cough syrup "trend" is seemingly derived from a group of photos that surfaced on the web, showing a group of young women helping each other chug cough syrup down the other hatch. For decades, teenagers have been buying over-the-counter cold medicines like Robitussin that contain DXM to get high. But this takes it to another level.

This method of intoxication is quite dangerous, as it can lead to loss of motor control, dizziness, seizures and hallucinations. Mayan priests apparently favored butt chugging with mixtures of alcohol and powerful tropical hallucinogens to bring forth religious insights. But it is doubtful that American teens are doing anything more than endangering their lives.

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

Growing up in Manhattan as a stutterer, John Lavitt discovered that writing was the best way to express himself when the words would not come. After graduating with honors from Brown University, he lived on the Greek island of Patmos, studying with his mentor, the late American poet Robert Lax. As a writer, John’s published work includes three articles in Chicken Soup For The Soul volumes and poems in multiple poetry journals and compilations. Active in recovery, John has been the Treatment Professional News Editor for The Fix. Since 2015, he has published over 500 articles on the addiction and recovery news website. Today, he lives in Los Angeles, trying his best to be happy and creative. Find John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.