Sizzurp, also known as purple drank, syrup, and lean, is a dangerous drug cocktail that has grown in popularity over the last decade due to popular cultural references. Some estimates have reported that approximately 10% of teenagers have tried the dangerous cocktail. (1)

Here we take a look at the history and dangers of sizzurp, or purple drank.

History of sizzurp

Sizzurp’s origins lie in the 1960’s in the urban music scene of Houston, Texas.

The popularity of  A bottle of sizzurp being poured out of a glasssizzurp began to spread to a more national level by the late 1990’s by being popularized by local Houston disc jockey DJ Screw. (2)

The national awareness and popularity of sizzurp reached peak once cultural icons such as Justin Bieber, Soulja Boy, and Lil Wayne publically mentioned using sizzurp in their work.

Despite Lil Wayne being rushed to the hospital after experiences seizures related to sizzurp abuse, the cocktail has continued to be abused. (3)

What is sizzurp?

Sizzurp is a concoction that combines pharmaceutical cough syrup with soft drinks, alcohol, and candy. The most common form of cough syrup used is promethazine/codeine combination syrup, which provides the psychoactive effects of sizzurp.

Codeine is a naturally occurring opiate that the body converts into morphine, and carries the same addiction risks as all opioids. Promethazine is an antihistamine that can cause sedation in users.

These drugs are commonly mixed with alcohol, which potentiates both their effects and their dangers. (4)

Effects of sizzurp

Sizzurp abuse produces effects from the promethazine, codeine, and alcohol in which it contains, which are the following:

  • Euphoria
  • Sense of well-being
  • Sedation
  • Alcohol intoxication
  • Nodding-out
  • Anxiety relief (5)

What are the dangers of sizzurp abuse?

Codeine, like all other opioids, carries a high risk of addiction when repeatedly abused. Codeine causes a decrease in blood pressure, along with slowing down breathing.

To make matters worse, the promethazine and alcohol in sizzurp actually potentiate the heart and breathing suppression caused by the codeine. This makes sizzurp an incredibly dangerous cocktail. (6)

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.