The “purple drank”, “lean” and “sizzurp” are just a few of the slang names used to describe the recreational use of the purple in color cough syrup promethazine with codeine. Because of drug diversion, this prescription controlled drug has made its way onto the streets and into the hands of pro athletes. On July 5, 2010, ex quarterback for the Oakland Raiders JaMarcus Russell was arrested for the illegal possession of the controlled cough syrup promethazine and codeine. It doesn’t surprise me that cough syrup is so popular these days especially among the hip hop culture.
I remember back in the day when I heard the song “sippin on some sizzurp” by three 6 mafia and UGK and didn’t know what the heck they were talking about, but they sure did a good job glamorizing it in their video. The video had a lot of pretty women on roller skates drinking an unknown substance while the southern hip hop artists sang the hook “sippin on some sizzurp”. The song was catchy , everyone grooved to it in the club and got high to the lyrics while they sipped on some cough syrup. Why do so many people abuse this stuff? Well codeine is an opiate that relieves pain and induces sleep by depressing the nervous system and is also the controlled ingredient in the syrup.
Codeine is very addictive and is just one of the many diverted prescription drugs that are abused . Promethazine is the non controlled ingredient and is a sedative/antihistamine. Both of these ingredients combined, causes the user to experience an euphoric effect which also makes them feel tired and sluggish. After experiencing this downer effect, users may take an upper to enhance the drowsiness. In Philadelphia, the two most abused syrups are codeine and promethazine which is purple and hydrocodone with chloropheniramine is yellow. Sometimes syrup abusers like to have pancakes with their syrup which is a slang term for adding an opiate tablet to cough syrup .
The purple syrup is the most popular prescription drug in Philadelphia and is usually packaged in approximately 2 oz unmarked glass bottles , but in the video pay attention to how the syrup is camouflaged in baby bottles. The hip hop culture today consistently advertises drug trafficking and drug abuse in their music ,so what do you think ? Does the hip hop culture today promote drug abuse?