On Friday, March 15, reports announced that rapper Lil Wayne was in a coma after suffering multiple seizures from an overdose of the popular recreational drug, Sizzurp.
What is Sizzurp?
Sizzurp, also known as purple drank, syrup, or Texas tea, is a combination of prescription strength cough syrup with 7-Up or a similar fruit-flavored soda and dissolved hard candy, such as jolly ranchers. Sometimes users add alcohol or crushed painkillers for an even stronger high.The main ingredient is the codeine and promethazine based prescription cough syrup. This is not the same as dextromethorphan (DXM) based cough syrup, which is available over-the-counter and produces hallucinogenic effects rather than euphoric effects.
What are the effects of Sizzurp?
The desired effects of Sizzurp include euphoria and dissociation. However, the same ingredients that make this potion desirable also make it deadly. The infamous cocktail includes:
- Codeine: an opiate
- Promethazine: an antihistamine
- Alcohol: a depressant
- and possibly a couple more prescription painkiller pills: more opioids
Considering these ingredients, users should be prepared for some nasty and potentially fatal side effects. All these drugs carry sedative effects, which can easily lead to a coma when overdosed. Opioids themselves are enough to slow your heart and breathing rate—all your body systems, in fact—but the combined effect of alcohol and antihistamines would be enough to shut down an entire town. (Or send you to the ICU at the least.)
Other less extreme effects include lethargy, motor-skill impairment, slowed breathing, vomiting . . . you get the picture.
Who drinks it?
Originated in Houston, Texas, and popularized by DJ Screw, recreational use of Sizzurp is prevalent in the hip hop community and among young adults. The drink is especially prevalent among southern rappers. Some reports are calling Purple Drank the “new drug of choice” among athletes, with codeine-filled bottles selling up to $800 on the streets.
Back to Lil Wayne…
Lil Wayne has been frank about his love of this drug, and he has struggled with his addiction to Sizzurp for years. Close sources told The Daily Beast that Lil Wayne tried to quit, and that he wants to quit, and yet he discovered—as so many before him—that addiction isn’t easily beaten.
He told MTV News in 2008 that quitting “feels like death in your stomach when you stop. Everybody wants me to stop all this and all that. It ain’t that easy.”
That’s right, Lil. It’s not.
Lil Wayne is quite aware of his family’s concerns and his responsibilities. He knows what the addiction is doing to him. He knows the consequences.
He witnessed the death of his rap idol Pimp C. die from an overdose of the concoction in 2007. And then he spend six days in ICU.
Overcoming Addiction: what does it take to quit—forever?
It doesn’t take hitting rock bottom. You don’t have wait for before things get worse to seek help; neither do family members have to wait until their loved one reaches that point. Staging an intervention is an effective means of helping a loved one accept treatment.
The addicted individual must first see the situation as it really is and accept the fact that they have a disease beyond their own control. They must admit that they need help. And most importantly, they must take personal responsibility for addiction.
Residential rehab provides you with the skills, tools and strategy needed to face the power of addiction. Counselors, support groups and caring friends give you the courage and hope to battle through the journey of recovery.
Are you struggling with an addiction? Tired of detoxing yet again, determined to “beat it”–and searching for the answer to lasting sobriety?
Here at Duffy’s, we recognize that you are the owner of your own recovery–yet you do not have to journey alone. If you would like more information about addiction, recovery, or treatment approaches, please call us at 1.707.200.6968. We’d love to help you take the next step in your recovery.