With reports circulating that Lil Wayne’s recent seizures may have been brought on by a “sizzurp” drinking binge, KTLA takes a look at the concoction that has becomes increasingly popular.
“Sizzurp” is cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine. It is known by various names like “lean,” purple drank,” “drank” and “Texas tea.” It is often mixed with Sprite or Mountain Dew, along with pieces of Jolly Rancher candy.
It originated in Houston, but quickly spread across the country as artists like Three 6 Mafia, Beanie Sigel, 2 Chainz, Weezy, Future, Kreayshawn, Gucci Mane, Drake and others started to glamorize it’s use in their songs.
Like any other drug, sipping “lean” can have deadly consequences.
Pimp C and DJ Screw both died after overdosing on the drug.
“Codeine is in the same class of drug as morphine, people like to take it for getting a body high or a sense of euphoria,” Pharmacist Julie Chen told KTLA. “Codeine can kill.”
2 Chainz spoke with Vibe in 2011 about his syrup drinking habit.
“I think people should be very careful because its addictive and can be fatal. You need to be your own individual. People are naturally curious about things but there comes a [point] where you need to let that go and that’s my opinion,” Tity Boi said. “I’ve probably been drinking since maybe 2007 so it’s a little different for me because it wasn’t well- known but the truth about promethazine/codeine is that it’s a pharmaceutical drug. No one makes it in a tub or anything .Moderate use is cool but I think that’s hard for people to do that but I definitely don’t promote people using it.”
Wayne told MTV in 2008 that it’s impossible to quit a syrup habit cold turkey.
“Do your history, do your research. It ain’t that easy — feels like death in your stomach when you stop doing that sh*t,” Wayne said at the time. “You gotta learn how to stop, you gotta go through detox. You gotta do all kinds of stuff. Like I said, I’m a selfish-a$$ n*gga. I feel like everything I do is successful and productive. It’s gonna be hard to tell me I’m slipping. It’s hard to sit and tell a n*gga ‘Stop.’ ‘F*ck, how can we tell this n*ggaa to stop when every f*cking thing he do is successful? This n*gga is making progress. He just went and talked to kids and that sh*t was amazing.’ Feel me? So what am I doing wrong?
“Let me do me. Everybody’s got their thing,” he continued with frustration. “Why focus on me? Don’t compare me to no one. Don’t compare me to no one who has passed, and why they passed. I can walk out this b*tch right now and get hit by a bus. Don’t judge me. You wanna judge me, put on a black gown and get a gavel. Get in line with the rest of them that’s about to judge me. I got court dates every other month. It’s me against the world — that’s how I feel.”
“Anytime a substance that can be so dangerous is popularized through music or our culture, it becomes something that we need to be very worried about,” DEA Sarah Pullen told KTLA.