Rapper Lil Wayne has been released from a Los Angeles hospital where he was taken after suffering a seizure last week. The 30-year-old rapper’s hospitalization triggered a frenzy of media reports that he was near death after suffering multiple seizures and having his stomach pumped when doctors found high amounts of codeine in his system.
The rapper has professed his love for the prescription drug codeine in multiple public venues and in some of his most popular rap songs – in the form of “sizzurp,” which usually involves mixing prescription cough syrup containing the narcotic codeine with soda and sometimes hard candy, like Jolly Ranchers.
What exactly is “sizzurp”?
Also known by the slang terms “purple drank,” “water” and “lean,” sizzurp, is a cough syrup-laced concoction of many names and has been gaining popularity in hip-hop culture.
As described in a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, codeine in the cough-suppressing, prescription cough syrup serves as a pain reliever. A second drug in the cough syrup, known as promethazine, has sedative-like properties and is used as an antihistamine commonly used to treat motion sickness and nausea.
Codeine is an opiate that is in the same family of drugs as heroin and morphine and can be very addictive in high doses. Promethazine has anecdotally been noted to intensify the euphoric effects of codeine in the brain.
The abuse of prescription medicine is a pervasive and devastating health problem, especially among teens, with one in six teens admitting to using a prescription drug to get high or change their mood. Too many drastically underestimate the negative impact that the abuse of prescription drugs and over-the-counter cough medicine is having on American teens today.
Learn more about how to take action to prevent medicine abuse. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call the Parents Toll-Free Helpline at 1-855-DRUGFREE.