“Sizzurp”- A Risky Drug Available at your Local Drugstore

By: Taryn Bogonovich
Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Program Intern

Teens have been known to experiment with new ways to get a “high”.  You may have heard the news recently about a new craze referred to as “Sizzurp” or “Purple Drank”, which is a mix of  soda, candy and prescription cough syrup with codeine.  While rap musicians have glorified the drink in their lyrics, doctors are warning about the lethal concoction. In fact, famous rapper Lil Wayne was reportedly hospitalized after overdosing on codeine and it has also contributed to the deaths of rapper Pimp C in 2007 and DJ Screw in 2000.

Teens may like the sweetness of the soda and Jolly Ranchers in the mix, which makes it easy to drink.  However, the cough syrup is the dangerous ingredient, containing Codeine, an opiate, and the drug antihistamine promethazine.  The fear for parents and counselors is how readily available cough syrup is for teens.  In fact, teens may have less concern about trying Sizzurp because the ingredients can be sold over the counter and there is less social stigma about use than illegal drugs.

Codeine is a dis-associative drug, which means that you don’t feel the connection between your mind and body. So it is known to be a starting point for further drug abuse.  Codeine addiction leads to serious repercussions, with side effects and risks that can be catastrophic. These include:

  • Tolerance

  • Craving

  • Mood disturbances

  • Restlessness

So, what can you do?  Talk openly with your teens about Sizzurp, even if you don’t think that they or their friends would use it.  If you know someone who is abusing cough syrup or other drugs, do not hesitate to contact ACS with your concerns. You can contact Connie Mayer, Director of Outpatient Counseling, at connie@acs-teens.org or (650) 424-0852 ext 104. 

Join us for the next Breakfast at ACS-Substance Abuse Prevention Workshops  on March 19th at 8:30 am at ACS’ offices.  This is a bi-monthly workshop for all parents of pre-teens/teens who have questions and want to learn more about teen substance abuse. There will also be an open discussion about substance abuse and a chance to ask trained Substance Abuse Counselors any questions you might have on substance abuse.  For questions about teen substance abuse or to join a workshop, call (650) 424-0852 ext. 200

Learn More About the Danger of “Sizzurp”