Signs & Symptoms of Dextromethorphan Exposure From YouTube

PLoS One. 2014 Feb 12;9(2):e82452. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082452. eCollection 2014.


Detailed data on the recreational use of drugs are difficult to obtain through traditional means, especially for substances like Dextromethorphan (DXM) which are available over-the-counter for medicinal purposes. In this study, we show that information provided by commenters on YouTube is useful for uncovering the toxicologic effects of DXM. Using methods of computational linguistics, we were able to recreate many of the clinically described signs and symptoms of DXM ingestion at various doses, using information extracted from YouTube comments. Our study shows how social networks can enhance our understanding of recreational drug effects.

MeSH terms

  • Cluster Analysis
  • Dextromethorphan / adverse effects*
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Internet*
  • Linguistics
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated
  • Social Media
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Symptom Assessment


  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Dextromethorphan

Grant support

The authors have no support or funding to report.