Purple Drank Information

purple drank

Essentially, Purple Drank is a combination of a soda drink, a prescription promethazine-codeine cough syrup and Jolly Rancher candies, preferably purple. The candies add flavor and more color. Preferred sodas for the recipe are Sprite or Mountain Dew. Even the type of cup is specified—a white styrofoam cup, probably for no other reason than the preference of well-known musicians who abuse this drug combination.

Promethazine is an antihistamine and it is frequently combined with codeine in prescription cough medication. While promethazine is not addictive, codeine is. But by some reports, promethazine is also sought by some drug abusers who like its sedative effects.

If you want to follow the actions of an admitted Purple Drank user, you could look at the history of the rapper Lil Wayne. In a well-publicized VH1 video interview, Lil Wayne talked about his right to abuse whatever was “in the cup,” even if it was death. He also wrote and performed a song glorifying his liquid drug use – “Me & My Drank.” In this song, he says:

“Sippin on some drink the color purple like silly, Really they say I should chill before it kills me, But so will a car crash or a nine milli…” (Nine milli = a gun using nine-millimeter bullets.)

A 2009 documentary produced by Quincy Jones showed Lil Wayne mixing this concoction and using a variety of drugs. But as the “poster child” for Purple Drank, Lil Wayne was recently reported to be suffering from some health problems. In October 2012, Lil Wayne’s private jet made an emergency landing as the rapper was reported to have been suffering seizures. He returned to performing shortly afterward.

Other hip-hop musicians have also popularized the drug, like the Houston music producer DJ Screw, and Houston musician Big Hawk. DJ Screw died of a codeine overdose in 2000.

Some of the heaviest use of Purple Drank also referred to as ‘Lean’, have occurred in Texas and Florida. In 2010, 12% of Texas secondary students reported that they had abused codeine cough syrup, up from 8.3% in 2004.

Results of Abusing Purple Drank

person with cup of purple drank

When a person drinks enough of this mixture, the codeine creates euphoria and the promethazine impairs a person’s motor skills. The mixture also causes lethargy, drowsiness and a dissociation from the body.

A promethazine-codeine cough syrup is not the only type that is frequently abused. Dextromethorphan (DXM) is a cough-suppressing ingredient in many over-the-counter cough medications. But it is a stimulant while a promethazine-codeine cough syrup has the “downer” effect of an opiate. A promethazine-codeine cough preparation is also prescription-only which means one must visit a doctor or obtain the drug illicitly.

This combination of drugs slows down a person’s movements and perceptions, leading to the unusual phenomenon of a style of slowed-down music suitable for a person in this state. Hip-hop musicians like Eminem, Kanye West, Ludacris, and others have publicly stated their favor for this drug mixture. A new slowed-down form of hip-hop became known as “chopped and screwed” as it is intended to be played at slow speed for users of this drug to enjoy in their impaired states.

But some of the results of using this drug are less sought-after by abusers. Like dizziness, blurred vision, irregular heartbeat, and hallucinations. More serious conditions that can result are high fever, muscle stiffness, and unconsciousness. When this formulation is mixed alcohol or Ecstasy, even more serious problems can result.

Like with many other drugs, the use of Purple Drank can be a slow sentence of decline and even death. When a person sees the damage that is being suffered he (or she) may reach out for help. Or a family may seek help for someone they care about when they see that he can’t stop himself from using drugs. That’s when Narconon can step in to help.

Narconon Centers Can Help the Purple Drank Addict Find Sobriety

For over fifty years, Narconon drug recovery programs have been helping addicts to all kinds of drugs learn how to live sober. From the early days in 1966 of helping heroin addicts break their habits, it continues to work in the US, Canada, and Mexico as well as Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and South America.

At any of these Narconon drug rehab centers, a person who has not been able to break free from Purple Drank addiction can be guided through the physical, mental and spiritual recovery he needs to build a new sober life. He will need a healthy way to address the cravings and new life skills to replace the ones that were destroyed by addiction. At his own pace, each person can find the knowledge he needs and then use this knowledge to forge a new life of integrity and sobriety.


Sign up free to receive our email newsletter: