KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It’s called lean, sizzurp, or purple drank. In hip hop music, it’s the subject of countless songs.
Rapper Lil’ Wayne has been known to enjoy it, but reports say it was an overdose of codeine that landed Lil’ Wayne in the hospital earlier this year. One of purple drank’s main ingredients is codeine, mixed with promethazine it’s a mixture common in cough syrups.
Local pharmacists believe those cough syrups may be why their businesses were recently burglarized.
“From what I’m finding out now this cough syrup is being sold to young children in high school as a drink to get high off of,” said Pete Spalitto, a pharmacist.
The drink contains the cough syrup mixed with other ingredients to make it more appealing.
“I’m not too wild about celebrities promoting drugs of abuse. It’s stupid,” said Tama Sawyer, the director of the University of Kansas Hospital Poison Control Center.
Sawyer says while it’s seen as a party drink, purple drank isn’t for fun.
“Ultimately it can lead to a coma and then to death,” Sawyer said.
Sawyer says it causes extreme dryness of the nose and mouth and can slow your breathing and heart rate.
“You can’t see because your vision is so blurry, you can’t sweat, you can’t control your body temperature,” she warned. “You get hallucinations with this, which you wouldn’t normally get with just alcohol.”
While some people sing its praises, Sawyer and other experts say the purple stuff doesn’t work in harmony with your life.