It is something many of us use when we are trying to get over a cold. But teens have started abusing cough medicine to experience a high.
School District 51 and local law enforcement sent a letter to parents warning them about the trend.
Students say cough medicine is easy to get a hold of. It is something they can buy and do with friends.
But medical experts say medications have a recommended dosage for a reason.
"Even though these products are over the counter products that doesn't mean they're harmless," Orchard Pharmacy manager Mark Vejraska said.
Students have caught on to a trend known as Robotripping. It is a way teens have discovered to get high by drinking full bottles of cough medicine.
"It's pretty common," high school Junior Talon Wright said. "I think most kids know that it's really easy to get to because i mean you can just go buy it."
Because cold medications like Robotussin can be bought over the counter, teens often do not realize the dangers of consuming too much.
"Confusion, paranoia, difficulty with speech, it also can cause some problems with the stomach," Vejraska said. "It can cause nausea, vomiting, cramping, it can cause dizziness."
And that is just to name a few side effects.But teens says some of their peers do it for social acceptance.
"It goes like hand in hand with partying and stuff," Wright said. "If you go to a party there's obviously going to be stuff like that there."
Yet students and pharmacists say they are not advocating for over the counter products like these to be available only by prescription.
"Some people actually use it but i don't know about the whole abuse sort of thing," Wright said. "I feel like we kind of need to sometimes."
"There are situations where someone is sick and has a need for a product like this when a pharmacy isn't open," Vejraska said.
And no matter where the drugs are bought, pharmacists say always follow the directions.
"The recommended doses are there for purpose because those doses have been studied and determined that's an effective dose and at the same time is a safe dose," Vejraska said.
Vejraska says the best thing to do is make sure the cold medicine is visible to store workers so they can keep an eye on who is buying it and how often. He also suggests that parents keep these products in a place where there teens do not always have access.