What does it do? The codeine, which is an opiate, produces a feeling of euphoria. The cough syrup also contains a drug called promethazine, which acts as a sedative. The combo can make users lean over – thus the nickname "lean.".
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What's the danger? Too much codeine and promethazine can depress the central nervous and respiratory systems, stopping the heart and lungs. Doctors also see nausea, dizziness, impaired vision, memory loss, hallucinations and seizures. Bottom line: It can be deadly, especially when mixed with other drugs and alcohol. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says: "Teens may think that just because something is available from the pharmacy, it won't harm them — but that's not true.".
Here's what you need to know, according to government agencies and to doctors who spoke to NBC and the Los Angeles Times :
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Parents, if you haven't yet heard of sizzurp, it may be time to start listening up.
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The candy-flavored cough syrup concoction popularized by rap singers has been around for years but, as NBC's Today show reported Thursday, doctors are increasingly concerned about kids seeking out this dangerous high, glamorized in songs and videos.
Doctors are increasingly concerned about young people seeking a high from sizzurp, a candy-flavored cough syrup concoction popularized by rap singers.
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How common is it? While it's unclear how many people drink sizzurp mixes, about 1 in 10 teens uses cough syrup or cold medicine to get high, according the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Some of the abuse involves over-the-counter cough syrup, which contains a different ingredient, dextromethorphan.
What is it? Sizzurp – also known as purple drank, syrup and lean – is a mix of codeine-based prescription cough syrup, soda and, often, Jolly Ranchers candy.
Cough syrup with codeine