1. Sizzurp is a pharmaceutical drug-infused drink. When Lil Wayne, 34, was admitted to a Chicago hospital on Sept. 3 after suffering multiple violent seizures, many fans blamed not his epilepsy – which he has struggled with for most of his life – but his use of “sizzurp.” The “Sucker For Pain” rapper popularized the drink, also known as “lean” or “purple drank,” and has battled his sizzurp addiction in the past. But, what is this? Sizzurp is a concoction that mixes prescription-strength cough syrup with fruit-flavored soda and some dissolved Jolly Ranchers, according to The Daily Beast. The cough syrup’s main ingredients, codeine and promethazine, create a euphoric state.
After consuming the drink, a person’s motor-skills are impaired. They’re drowsy. They’re lethargic. They pretty much experience the side effects of codeine (an opiate that’s used as a painkiller) and promethazine (a neuroleptic medicine with strong sedative effects.) While using codeine-infused cough syrup can help a person heal (if they follow the doctor’s instructions) drinking sizzurp can exceed up to 25 times the recommended dose. So, yes – it’s dangerous, especially for anyone who mixes other painkillers and alcohol with their lean.
2. It can be lethal. Overdosing on cough syrup killed rapper Pimp C in 2008, and many suspect that lean was behind Big Moe’s death in 2007. Codeine is an opiate, and overdoses involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 199, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Between 1999 and 2015, 183,000 people died from overdoses related to prescription opioids. So, yes — recklessly throwing back some purple drank can kill you.
3. Lil Wayne openly admitted to drinking it in 2011. “I know I picked up the cup what I started drinking what is promethazine mixed with codeine, what you all know as ‘sizzurp,'” Weezy said in a 2011 video, per TMZ. I started drinking it because I’m from the south, New Orleans, and we grew up on UGK, and ‘Ghetto boy.’ And people were drinking sizzurp for years.” Wayne even mentioned Pimp C as inspiration as to why he started drinking the drug. Ultimately, he knew he had a problem. “I don’t do this to be cool. I did this because I was sick.”
Wayne needa lay off that lean. Idk how I'll feel if we lost Wayne, especially before C5.
— YK⚜️ (@balloutjeff) September 4, 2017
Lil wayne has epilepsy & chooses to sip lean which makes his condition worse. Hes had countless amount of seizures due to sippin lean…
— Shann🕊 (@shvnny_) September 4, 2017
4. Sizzurp causes seizures. Promethazine affects the central nervous system, and after consuming a toxic amount, a person can be put into a hyperexcitable stage where the odds of potentially sufferings a seizure are greater, according to Complex. Promethazine alone is enough to cause anyone a seizure, but someone like Lil Wayne – a known epileptic – should stay far, far away from the drug.
It’s very common, especially among teenagers. A 2012 study found that 5.5% of surveyed 12th graders had gotten high off of cough syrup in one way or another. There’s a variation of lean that doesn’t use the prescription strength cough syrup, just the over-the-counter variety (commonly referred to as “robo-tripping,” taken from the Robotussin brand cough medicine.) While it hasn’t been confirmed that sizzurp was behind Lil Wayne’s most recent health scare, the abuse of cough syrup is all too real.
Our thoughts are with Lil Wayne as he recovers.