Also known as Sizzurp, Dirty Sprite, or Purple Drank, “lean” is often made by mixing prescription-strength codeine cough syrup with soda. The drink has become popularized in hip-hop culture over the last several years, with famous rappers drinking and featuring it in their music videos. Now the trend has spread to social media, making it even more popular among fans who are posting to emulate some of their favorite rap stars.
The drink has landed with such a loud cultural bang that it’s been featured in rap lyrics from mega-watt stars like Lil Wayne to Chris Brown and has reportedly been name-dropped by Justin Bieber and DJ Khaled.
NIDA's Community Epidemiology Work Group(CEWG) member and University of Texas Research Scientist, Jane Maxwell, Ph.D talks about the emerging drug trend, drinking Codeine-Promethazine Cough Syrup also known as "Syrup,""Sizzurp," "Lean"
The rising visibility of promethazine codeine syrup also made the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture and sell it part of some communities’ everyday vernacular.
Today, you may have heard of it because some high-profile rappers like Lil Wayne may or may not have had some problems with it. Three 6 Mafia isn't afraid to boast, "I'm steady sipping on some sizzurp," but the National Institute on Drug Abuse tells teens, "it is not cool," mostly because it can kill you...
The cocktail of cough syrup and soda long known in the US as 'purple drank' has made it way across the Atlantic Ocean. And French health authorities are not pleased.
Rapper Lil Wayne's seizures and hospitalization highlight a double standard in hustler culture. Crack cocaine and heroin users are considered junkies. Meanwhile codeine "sizzurp" and pills are less stigmatized, but not necessarily any more benign.
Sizzurp, or “purple drank,” or “water,” depending on the part of the country in which one cops it, has for years been a drug of choice for inner city dealers of drugs like crack and heroin.
Teens may think that just because something is available from the pharmacy, it won’t harm them—but that’s not true. When not used as directed on the label, cough and cold medicines (even over-the-counter ones) can be dangerous.
Despite cough syrup’s benign over-the-counter reputation, it can be a dangerous substance, especially when used improperly. The active ingredients in prescription-strength cough syrup ― codeine and promethazine ― can cause dizziness, nausea, impaired vision, seizures, rash and confusion, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Sizzurp. Purple Drank. Oil. Lean. We’ve all heard of the stuff (probably partially thanks to rappers like Lil Wayne, Future and Soulja Boy). But did you know that in the US, demand for a particular brand of cough syrup used in the drink is so high that Mexican cartels are smuggling a knock-off version into Texas and selling it for thousands?
Codeine isn’t the only potentially dangerous drug in lean. Promethazine, another central nervous system depressant, is typically used as an antihistamine and to treat nausea. Its sedative-like effects are intended to prevent people from abusing it in large quantities. In conjunction with codeine, promethazine can slow breathing to the point of complete respiratory arrest. Some have reported that promethazine exaggerates the hallucinatory effects of codeine.