Tags: kids | sizzurp | cough | syrup | codeine

Kids 'Sizzurp': Cough Syrup, Codeine Cocktail a New Drug Trend

Friday, 24 Jan 2014 07:53 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Experts are warning parents to be on the lookout for the latest drug trend sweeping the nation: kids drinking "sizzurp."

The practice of guzzling cough syrup laced with codeine and mixed with soda and hard candies is nothing new — it's been glamorized on the rap music scene for years. But it's now spreading to kids, Dr. Robert Glatter of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York told Today.com.

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"This is a very dangerous drug. It can lead to seizures and essentially lead you to stop breathing," he said. "It's quite addictive. The sweetness of the soda and candy combined with the drug itself makes people want to have this all day long . . . They just don’t know how much they’ve had throughout the day and by then, it’s almost too late."

Sizzurp, also known as "purple drank," "syrup," "lean," contributed to the hospitalization of rapper Lil Wayne last March and was also blamed for the deaths of hip hop star Pimp C in 2007 and DJ Screw in 2000.

"Kids are seeing this all over — on social media, on the Internet," Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org, told Today.com. "They're seeing their favorite music stars talking about this, singing about this and then they turn to the medicine cabinet."

One in 10 teens admits to drinking sizzurp or straight cough syrup to get high, according to a recent U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration report.

"These are dangerous prescription drugs," Pasierb said. "Whether they're mixed with soft drinks or mixed with Jolly Ranchers, it doesn't change that fact. This is one of the more dangerous ways, frankly, to get high."

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