09 Dec The Risks and Effects of Purple Drank

Purple drank, also known as sizzurp, drank, and lean, is a dangerous drug that is being used more and more often by kids. Songs, social media and internet videos have glamorized the drug, making it even more appealing to young people. Meanwhile, stars who once heralded purple drank are suffering from its dangerous consequences. Rapper Lil Wayne has been hospitalized after overdosing on codeine, and the deaths of rapper Pimp C in 2007 and DJ Screw in 2000 were both attributed to purple drank. This drug is often viewed as harmless and fun, but is actually one of the most dangerous ways to get high.

Cough Syrup and Candy

The reason why purple drank is so appealing is that it’s made up mostly of harmless, delicious ingredients. Soda like Sprite or Mountain Dew is mixed with Jolly Rancher candies, for added sweetness and color. The trouble occurs when prescription cough syrup containing codeine is added. Codeine is an opioid that produces an instantaneous, strong high. Codeine causes a dissociative feeling between mind and body. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says it’s like being very, very drunk, which is why purple drank is sometimes referred to as lean. Users find that they can’t even stand up straight.

A Dangerous High

Experts are saying that purple drank is one of the most dangerous ways for people to get high. Even though the mixture is perceived as harmless, it contains a strong opioid, codeine, which is in the same family as heroine. This drug is highly addictive and a dependence can form very quickly. Overdosing on codeine is easy and seizures are a common side effect of the drug. Other harmful side effects of purple drank include :

Slowed heart rate
Loss of coordination and balance
Urinary tract infection
Dental issues
Raspy voice
Constricted pupils

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Overdosing on purple drank is fairly common because people can’t be sure how much codeine they’ve had with the mixture. The sweet taste and fun colors make an inviting cocktail that people will sip all day long. When overdose does occur, users end up in the hospital unsure of how much they’ve actually had, making it very difficult for doctors to help them. As with other opioids, withdrawal from purple drank addiction is dangerous and can be life threatening. Anyone who is exhibiting signs of dependence on purple drank should seek professional medical help immediately.

Mike Keenan is a Licensed Substance Use Disorder Counselor (LSUDC) and is continuing his education by pursuing a degree in Social Work at the University of Utah. Mike began his career in 2008 working in youth residential treatment. Soon after, he identified his passion for working with the adult population suffering from addiction and chemical dependency and transitioned into adult residential, in-patient, and out-patient treatment. Mike has excelled in a variety of supervisory and director level positions, and is currently succeeding as the Director of Client Relations at Therápia. In addition, Mike has been practicing as a Certified Equine Specialist, using the EAGALA Model, since 2008. Using the EAGALA model, he works in a team to facilitate Equine Psychotherapy and Equine Life-skills sessions. Mike grew up in St. George Utah and has always taken advantage of the wide array of outdoor and recreational activities Southern Utah provides. He has capitalized on his love for and expertise in the stunning surrounding environment to facilitate experiential therapy and metaphorical learning.

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