Health Team

'Cough syrup cocktails' a new danger to teens

Posted April 22, 2018 2:04 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 11:20 a.m. EDT

— Some teenagers are using their parents' medicine cabinets to fuel house parties -- no fake ID required.

"The parents don't know what's happening," said 17-year-old Jino Arrendondo, who explained the dangerous trend of using cough syrup to make cocktails. "We pour Sprite over it and we get this high that's pretty intense."

Cough syrup

Arrendondo said he tried it partly because of his Instagram posts he sees of his favorite rappers, like Chief Keef, doing the same thing.


A post shared by Chief Keef (@chieffkeeffsossa) on

The teenager is sick of it now, he said, partly because his soccer team is getting smaller since his friends are becoming addicted.

"When I looked [a former teammate] in the eye, I could just see his soul trying to grab me through my soul so I could experience what he was experiencing," said Arrendondo. "I was honestly scared and I wanted to call my mom."

Now, Arrendondo is working with lawmakers in Colorado to require that only adults aged 18 and over can purchase cough syrup purchases that contain the ingredient Dextramethorphan.

"This is a simple step to make sure our cashiers do just a quick double check before they hand something out to a kid that they might actually abuse," said Colorado Rep. Jonathan Singer. "Any effort is a big effort," said Arrendondo, who believes the new law will save lives.