Helping Parents Prevent Youth Substance Abuse

Sizzurp

Sizzurp is a mix of codeine-based prescription cough syrup, soda and, often, Jolly Ranchers candy.

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."

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."

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.

Slurred speech
Blurred vision
Euphoria
Sedation
Dissociation from one's body
Impaired motor skills
Lethargy
Drowsiness

Sizzurp
Lean**
Texas Tea
Memphis Mud
Purple Sprite
Purple Drank

**The reason this formulation is also nicknamed "Lean" is that it causes some people to want to lean on objects for support.

   

 

Use the TalkSooner app for tips on how to talk to your kids about not using alcohol or other drugs.