Purple Drank is an addictive drink made up by the drug abuser himself (or herself). The primary intoxicating ingredient is a promethazine-codeine cough medication that is available only by prescription. It is mixed with a soda drink like Sprite or Mountain Dew. Jolly Rancher candies may be crushed and added to give it more color and flavor.
This mixture is popular among hip hop musicians who also endorse the abuse of this drug by others. But by doing so, they are condemning others to a possible life of addiction. At the same time, at least three people in the hip hop industry have died as as result of this drug: music producer DJ Screw and MC Big Moe both from Houston, and the rapper Pimp C. Still, the most prominent music industry figure abusing this drug has no plans to stop—Lil Wayne.
There are many nicknames for this drug among its users: Sizzurp, Lean, Texas Tea, Memphis Mud, Purple Sprite, and Drank.
- Slurred speech
- Blurred vision
- Dissociation from one's body
- Impaired motor skills
The high from Purple Drank is sometimes referred to as a "swooning euphoria."
The reason this formulation is also nicknamed "Lean" is that it causes some people to want to lean on objects for support.
When the dosages of these drugs get high, there may also be unpleasant signs and symptoms that are not sought by the abusers. Signs like vomiting, weakness, headache, itching, dry mouth, hives, chest pain, fainting, hallucinations, seizures and tremors.
In fact, Lil Wayne was hospitalized in October 2012 after he suffered seizures while flying in his private jet. After a short hospital stay, he returned to performing. Despite the fact that he has been quite public about his drug abuse, his seizures were attributed to a migraine and dehydration.
When Lil Wayne was asked about stopping his abuse of Purple Drank, he talked about the symptoms of going through withdrawal: "It ain't that easy - feels like death in your stomach when you stop doing that shit. You gotta learn how to stop, you gotta go through detox."
Unfortunately, one of the signs and symptoms of Purple Drank abuse is death, especially if the drug is mixed with others like alcohol or Ecstasy. The codeine in the cough syrup is a breathing depressant, as is alcohol. When mixed, the effects can be fatal. In August 2012, a fourteen-year-old girl in St. Paul, Minnesota died after she was given this drink by adults. Her seventeen-year-old cousin was hospitalized.
Purple Drank tends to be more abused in some locations than other. Texas, Florida and Philadelphia are noted for higher levels of Purple Drank abuse.
Abuse of this drug is addictive because of the codeine, and it may be an entry-level drug for young people, especially those who follow hip hop music.
The promethazine in the cough medication is also sought by those who like the "buzz" they might get from it although it is not reported to be addictive in itself.
When a person has abused this drug for a period of time, he (or she) may not be able to quit using it on his own. But getting off this drug does not have to be as severe as reported by Lil Wayne. At Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers across the US and around the world, it is possible to find a tolerable withdrawal experience and lasting sobriety.
Narconon programs have more than forty-five years of experience helping people leave all types of addiction behind. No matter what drug or type of alcohol is being abused, recovery is possible at a Narconon center.
Withdrawal is made more tolerable with the use of generous nutritional supplements that calm a body's reaction to withdrawal symptoms. One-on-one work with the staff help the recovering addict find relief from the loss and despair of addiction and look forward to a sober future. Those who go through this withdrawal process sometimes state that it is the most tolerable withdrawal process they have ever been through.
Once this step is done, the Narconon drug rehab program starts in earnest. Each person is helped to detoxify the residues of past drug use that may be involved in triggering cravings. At Narconon, this is accomplished with a combination of time in a sauna, nutritional supplements and moderate daily exercise. Drug residues are flushed out and as they go, a brighter outlook and lower cravings are reported as results.
Once a person achieves this fresher viewpoint, he can then move on to learning the sober living skills that will serve him when he goes home. In seven out of ten cases, graduates find lasting sobriety as they use these skills life after finishing the Narconon program. Find out how the Narconon program can help someone you care about who is abusing Purple Drank or any drug. Call 1-800-775-8750 today to get the whole story on Narconon.
See also Effects of Purple Drank