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Sizzurp: The Dangers of Soda Mixed with Cough Syrup
For thousands of years and across countless cultures, people have concocted substances that helped elevate mood and spirit. From social gatherings to religious ceremonies, drugs and alcohol have brought about euphoria and calm. While the use of substances has been recognized across the centuries has somewhat normative behavior, they can pose significant dangers to one’s mind and health. One such example is the uniquely named Sizzurp.
What is Sizzurp?
Commonly known as “purple drank”, “lean”, and “Texas Tea”, Sizzurp is a mixture of cold medicine, soda such as Sprite or 7up and Jolly Ranchers hard candy. This produces a purple liquid that gives users profound euphoria and sedation. The common cold medicines used to make this concoction contain promethazine, which is an antihistamine with sedative properties, as well as codeine which is an opiate. When consumed, people will feel its’ effects for 3-6 hours.
Sizzurp first gained popularity and notoriety in the Houston, Texas rap scene and hip-hop community. The production style of Houston rap music—known as chopped and screwed—was inspired by the feelings people experience while on Sizzurp. Rappers and entertainers who used and often glamorized Sizzurp use include Lil’ Wayne, T.I., Justin Bieber, Three 6 Mafia and the late Mac Miller.
Is Sizzurp Dangerous?
While its’ name and appearance may seem straight out of a Dr. Seuss book, Sizzurp is extremely addictive and dangerous. Codeine is a powerful opiate that can cause physical dependence and has a of uncomfortable and scary symptoms, including fatigue, loss of motor skills or coordination, memory loss, nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Opioids are also highly addictive, so teens who drink Sizzurp are at risk of forming a physical dependence on the drink in order to feel pleasure or happiness.
The sweet taste of soda and/or candy that is added to the cough syrup makes it easy for users to abuse it and quickly lose track of how much they have consumed, which only increases the risks of addiction and overdose. Other long term effects of purple drank can include dental decay, constipation, weight gain, and urinary tract infections. Since many cough medicines used in lean production contain acetaminophen, there is an increased risk of liver damage.
The effects of this substance intensify and be prolonged if it used with other substances. Some common drugs people use in conjunction with Sizzurp include the following:
What are the Signs of Sizzurp Addiction?
If you rely on Sizzurp to feel happiness or pleasure, you may have created a physical dependency on and addiction to the codeine found in sizzurp’s prescription-strength cough syrup.
Another sign of codeine addiction is the presence of withdrawal symptoms whenever you try to quit drinking Sizzurp. Withdrawal symptoms may include difficulty sleeping, agitation, muscle aches, teary eyes, runny nose, anxiety, sweating, and increased yawning.
Some users who have been using Sizzurp for a long period of time or in large doses may also experience more serious withdrawal symptoms that can include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, goose bumps, and dilated pupils.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’M ADDICTED TO CODEINE?
If you or a loved one is addicted to the codeine found in prescription-strength cough syrup and Sizzurp, it is best to contact an established rehab facility for support. Medically supervised detox is the safest way to detox from an addictive substance with as few discomforts as possible.
From there, a combination of evidence-based treatment, experiential therapy, and holistic health services can help a user understand the root causes of their addiction and gain the tools they need to live a life of sobriety.