Sizzurp (Purple Drank, Lean) is a slang term for a drink mixture that uses cough syrup as one of its main ingredients. Though dangerous, this drink has been made popular by Hip Hop music originating from Houston, Texas and its popularity has been growing across the United States for the past years.
Sizzurp is used as a recreational drug among teens and young adults. The mixture is made by mixing prescription strength Cough Syrup which contains Codeine and Promethazine with a sweet drink such as sprite or iced tea lemonade. Once the mixture is done, it tends to have a purplish color as a result of the dyes in the cough syrup medication. This drink is very dangerous due to the fact people have to use doses that are well above the recommended dosage in order to obtain the effects deemed pleasurable.
The recipe for purple drank is very simple which is why it’s so common among young individuals. To make purple drank, one needs prescription grade 2-4 oz of cough syrup(promethazine-codeine), 12-20 oz sweet drink(fruit flavored soda, original sprite etc.), flavor additive (jolly rancher). Once all items are there, add them to a Styrofoam cup and mix it. The amount of each ingredients will vary based on the user’s tolerance to the drugs.
The main ingredient in purple drank is the cough syrup, though users prefer Promethazine Codeine cough syrup, other cough syrups can be used as a substitute, such as those containing high amounts of DXM. Promethazine is an antihistamine and codeine is a narcotic; Promethazine is responsible for motor skill impairment, lethargy, extreme drowsiness, while the codeine is mainly responsible for the euphoric feeling caused by the purple drank. The drink(sprite) is a component of the mixture but is not active ingredient, and the jolly rantchers are there to provide a better taste. Though Sprite and Jolly ranchers are the original ingredients of sizzurp, they can both be exchanged for other similar items.
Once the purple drank mixture is done, the user proceeds to sipping it. Shortly after sipping it, the effects start to kick in for the user. Most people drink it for the euphoria caused by the codeine and the drunk feelings such as impair motor control caused by the Promethazine. The effects individuals experience vary by individuals, one person might have some side effects after drinking the mixture while some may not. The most serious side effect of Purple Drank is that it can depress the central nervous and respiratory systems which can cause the heart and lungs to stop functioning and possibly resulting in death. Eowid, a website which allow users to post their experiences with certain drugs such as sizzurp listed the following side effects for sizzurp:
- Waves of nausea
- Constricted pupils
- Intense drowsiness
- Droopy eyes
- Slurred speech
- Mild euphoria
- Occasional, though rare, visual hallucinations, mainly consisting of flashing lights or colors
- Inner numbness
- Purple Drank – This name is a result of the fact that the end mixture tend to have a purplish color due to the dye in the cough syrup.
- Lean – This name is from the fact the effects of the mixture tend to leave users leaning.
- Purple Jelly – The Drink is colored purple, and jolly(jelly) ranchers were part of the original recipe.
- Texas Tea – The drink originated from Houston, Texas
Mixing sizzurp with alcohol to will intensify its effects, this is extremely dangerous because both drugs are dangerous on their own, and mixing them only increases the potential for side effects. Another drug that’s popular used with sizzurp is marijuana, though safer than alcohol mixing drugs always increase the possibility of potential side effects. Users are said to either dip their blunts(marijuana rolled in cigar papers) in the sizzurp mixture, or simply get high off the marijuana before, during, or after drinking the sizzurp mixture.
In 2013, Lil Wayne, a well-known rapper suffered a seizure which many contributed to his use of sizzurp. Lil Wayne admitted to have been abusing the drug, and during an interview said his doctor told him that the seizure was a reaction to his sudden stop of sizzurp intake. Lil Wayne claims that he had been taking pain pills which contain codeine, the same drug found in sizzurp, and when he stopped taking the sizzurp he started suffering codeine withdrawals.
Numerous articles came out from celebrity news sites such as TMZ indicating that Justin Bieber has been using sizzurp as well as numerous other drugs. In the beginning of 2014, as his behavior got more erratic, numerous individuals started wondering if Justin Bieber actually suffering from a sizzurp addiction.
On the night Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman, he was heading home from a nearby store with Skittles and Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail. The fact that those two items are common mixes for sizzurp, lead many to believe Trayvon Martin was using those items to make sizzurp to get high.
- DJ Screw – He was the creator of a rap style known as ‘Chopped and Screwed’ which he claimed was influenced by Sizzurp; he died as a result of a codeine-promethazine-alcohol overdose.
- Big Moe – He released CDs titled ‘City of Syrup’ and ‘Purple City’ and heavily promoted the use of Sizzurp(Purple Drank) in his songs, he died in 2007 from a heart attack which many believed sizzurp played a role in.
- Pimp C – A member of the rap duo UGK, he was found dead in his hotel room, and the Coroner’s Office reported his death as a result of codeine-promethazine and other effects.
No other genre of music promotes sizzurp as heavily as Hip Hop does, many rappers reference the drug in their songs. Big Moe, a rapper from the south, released an album titled ‘City of Syrup’ in 2000, the CD’s cover showed him pouring Purple Drank(Sizzurp) over a city. Yung Simmie, a rapper from Miami, Florida released a song titled ‘Lean With The Sprite’.