Beverages Mixed with Prescription Strength Cough Syrup Rising in Popularity Among Teens

Beverages Mixed with Prescription Strength Cough Syrup Rising in Popularity Among Teens

One of the current drug use trends among youth in various parts of the country involves consuming prescription strength cough syrups that contain codeine and promethazine. The cough syrup is combined with sprite, mountain dew or other beverages and increasingly being consumed recreationally among teens and even many young adults. Commonly, people also combine hard candies like jolly ranchers in the increasingly popular cough syrup drinks to enhance the flavor.

This is a trend that became popular in the hip-hop scene in the latter part of the 90's, it was referenced during that time quite often in rap music lyrics. Unfortunately, the recreational concoction of addictive codeine containing cough syrup is gaining popularity again among teens causing health concerns and the risk of addiction and possible overdose.

This combination is often referred to as Purple Drank, Sizzurp, Lean and Syrup which are slang street terms for the cough syrup drink mixture. No matter what people call it, the main ingredient is cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine and it's extremely dangerous and even more so when combined with alcohol which is commonly consumed.

People that are recreationally drinking these cough syrup drinks often consume large amounts, this is dangerous because they contain the narcotic codeine and promethazine which is an antihistamine. In sufficient amounts, codeine produces feelings of relaxation and euphoria and promethazine reacts as a sedative.

Codeine has an effect on the central nervous system, a fatal overdose is a risk associated with opioids because they can slowdown or even stop the heart and lungs from functioning. Unfortunately many people combine prescription strength cough syrups with alcohol which just increases the risk of an overdose which could be fatal.

In the year 2000, DJ Screw the rapper died from a codeine related overdose and the rapper Pimp C died in the year 2008. Lil Wayne has also struggled with his use of purple drank and was even hospitalized due to seizures according to many different reports including the following report from CT News.

In April of this year CT News reported on Sizzurp and the effects of this dangerous cough syrup mixture. The video CT News includes, discusses the dangers associated with the prescription strength cough syrup containing drinks referred to as Sizzurp and the fact that seizures are a potential risk associated with long-term use and abuse of them.

Codeine is an opioid and people don't realize how addictive it is, many people have become addicted to these prescription strength cough syrups and are either in treatment or in need of help for their addiction. With frequent continued use, anyone could find themselves battling codeine addiction or suffering a fatal overdose.

Since use is increasing among young people, parents and caregivers need to be aware that illicit drugs and prescription pain medications aren't the only things our teens are trying and abusing today. Drinks mixed with cough syrups containing codeine and promethazine known as Purple Drank, Sizzurp, Lean and Syrup are trends that are rapidly gaining popularity today causing harm to those frequently consuming them.

Daily News
National Institute on Drug Abuse

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