If the rumors are true, it sounds like Justin Bieber needs a little education on pharmacology before he permanently alters his consciousness.
But what the heck is Sizzurp (slurpie)? Definitely not some fruit-flavored icy beverage favored by kids in summer.
Sizzurp, Purple Drank, Texas Tea are all lo- tech mixtures of cough syrup and soda pop. Promethazine with codeine is the world’s most popular prescription cough syrup.
Nothing works like codeine to quiet down a cough. Doctors in general don’t worry much about abuse because it only has 10mg of codeine per teaspoonful, and it takes 60 or 90mg to reduce pain.
Promethazine is an antihistamine, like Benadryl. It dries up a runny nose and clears the sinuses. The usual dose is 1 teaspoon every 4-6 hours as needed for cough.
If you are more interested in anesthesia, than controlling a cough, people will mix 2 ounces of cough syrup with a can of soda (Sprite or Mountain Dew), perhaps throwing a Jolly Rancher in for good measure.
That is 12 teaspoons full of cough syrup, 120 mg of codeine, 75 mg of promethazine, a boat load of sugar, and a straw.
My youngest daughter likes to mix things in a drink, mustard, spices, lemon juice, peas. But she doesn’t actually drink it (though she sometimes offers it to me –“want some daddy”?). My initial reaction to Purple Drank is the same as to her concoctions-“gross”!
Codeine is a narcotic, like all narcotics it distracts you from pain, is sedating, a respiratory depressant, and is constipating. That sounds like fun.
The antihistamine dries up your head (cotton mouth), is also sedating, and also a respiratory depressant. Now we’re talking. Add alcohol and you can stop breathing. Got to wonder about a life, that you would resort to this, to escape. All this fun and cavities too!
Huffing is a throwback to glue sniffing days – 40 or 50 years ago. Many household and industrial products have organic solvents in them which can be concentrated by inhaling them with a bag over your head.
This is best done sitting, so you don’t fall down and hurt yourself, or wander into traffic. The great majorities of these chemicals are carcinogenic, and cause nerve damage.
Having a bag over your head when you experiment is also a good way to suffocate. All in all it sounds like a lobotomy on a payment plan.
Everything old is new again. Time to dig out purple velour hip-hugger bell bottoms?
Yes, I really owned them — I know you are secretly envious.
Donald Bucklin, MD (Dr. B) is a Regional Medical Director for U.S. HealthWorks and has been practicing clinical occupational medicine for more than 25 years. Dr. B. works in our Scottsdale, Arizona clinic.
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