Promethazine with Codeine Cough Syrup
Irresponsible and illicit use of prescription cough medicine began in the early 1990s. The practice of combining Codeine-based cough syrup with the strong antihistamine drug Promethazine and then mixing the drugs with soda and candy originated in Houston, Texas. According to Wikipedia, it quickly became popular among rappers from the region, and goes by many slang terms including sizzurp, purple drank, purple jelly and dirty Sprite.
This combination is certainly not the first instance of people mixing different substances to achieve an even greater high. In fact, it’s a practice that’s been done throughout history. However, combining two strong drugs to form an even stronger drug can obviously make the chance of overdose much more prevalent when compared to taking only one drug at a time.
These side effects may be decidedly less terrifying than those of some other street drugs, but users should be aware that Promethazine with Codeine cough syrup has an extremely high rate of accidental overdose. When too much Promethazine and Codeine are ingested, the resulting overdose can lead to respiratory depression, heart attack or death. This is because both drugs individually are meant to suppress the respiratory system in order to stop coughing and inhibit symptoms related to an allergic reaction. As such, large doses of this combination of drugs are particularly dangerous. To further this point, the deaths of several prominent rappers have been attributed to purple drank.
Not only is the combination dangerous, but antihistamines are known potentiators of Codeine, further repressing respiration and causing an increase in the thickness of bronchial secretions.
If you or a loved one could be struggling with substance use disorder involving Promethazine with Codeine cough syrup or other drugs, we invite you to contact our compassionate and well-trained team at The Recovery Village. Even if you just have questions you’d like answered, we’re here and ready to help in any way we can.
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