What is Syrup?
•“Syrup” is a prescription-strength cough
medicine that contains the opioid codeine,
and promethazine a powerful antihistamine.
Syrup has been made famous by the use of
many rappers since the early 90’s. The
availability of the drug is highly rising in the
•Syrup has similar effects to opioid drugs,
with side effects such as drowsiness,
euphoria, short temper, and can in some
cases cause seizures.
•Since the rise of its popularity the
prescription has become harder to obtain.
Effects of Syrup
• The codeine in the syrup is designed to suppress
the amount of coughing, and as a pain reliever.
• The Promethazine is in the drink in order to
suppress flu like symptoms, and is also a light
sedative. The sedative is there to hopefully stop
people from drinking too much of it, by making
them fall asleep.
• There have been a various amount of cases involving syrup made
into national news due to the people involved in the incident.
• DJ Screw, who is seen as the ambassador of illegal use, died of an
overdose of syrup in 2000.
• Lil Wayne has been hospitalized numerous times due to seizures
from syrup binges.
• Pimp C was also found dead due to a syrup overdose in 2007.
“It is possible to take an overdose of codeine when abusing Purple
Drank, resulting in an opiate overdose and death. If the use of the
drink is combined with alcohol or other drugs, the combination can
also contribute to death.”
What stood out to me in this quote is the fact that overdosing on
syrup is virtually the same as overdosing on heroin. Kids think it is
okay to do because rappers talk about it. But they do not realize it
has extremely similar characteristics to heroin, and other opioids.
• If syrup is so widely used by famous rappers and athletes, what is
there to tell young kids that it is dangerous. These people are
role models for kids, and if they see their role models drinking
syrup could they be more likely to try it themselves?