What is Snurf? Its not clear exactly what Snurf contains, but the symptoms and effects point to dextromethorphan, also know as DXM, the cough suppressant ingredient in Robitussin and other over-the-counter medicines. Dextromethorphan is a synthetic morphine analog that lacks opioid-like effects.
Today’s reports of four Pennsylvania 10th-graders hospitalized after taking pink pills sold over the Internet as Snurf have parents scrambling to learn more about this little-known drug. Ninth and tenth graders are using Snurf. One in ten kids from grades 7th to 12th have used it. There is a 15-fold increase in California. While use of illegal drugs is down among teens, use of DXM and other over-the-counter drugs is on the rise from eighth grade onward. Kids think that since it’s a advertised as legal and an herbal that it is safe and or healthy. Yet both the desired effects and the side effects can be devastating. At extreme doses, Levine says, DXM causes the same kinds of dissociative symptoms — memory loss, depression, anxiety, detachment from self, sense of unreality, blurred sense of identity — seen with ketamine, a very dangerous drug of abuse known as “special K.” Some think that since these drugs are legal that kids feel less guilty about using them. “The message isn’t out there of the potential dangers of using these substances. You have a very dangerous combination of fairly easy access with absence of messages of potential harm,” Windle tells WebMD.
Kids may have been trying to get DXM when they stumbled upon Snurf pills. Other products listing the same ingredients — such as Snuffadelic and Red Dawn Vector Euphoria Enhancer — are readily available. Snurf itself is hard to find on the Internet, although it’s been sold at least since 2005.
In addition to SNURF, Kids are also buying other “legal” herbal drugs that may be listed as safe. Some of those include:
Spirit Walk: Like SNURF, Spirit Walk is an herbal supplement that comes in pill form. Some users have likened the experience to using hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Herbal Ecstasy: Sold under the names Cloud 9, Rave Energy and Ultimate Xphoria, herbal ecstasy is a combination of herbs that are legal, inexpensive, and marketed as a “natural high.”
Red Bliss: A red capsule, this drug is said to boost energy and sexual stamina. This product is also said to be a mood elevator and aphrodisiac.
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