PALM DESERT, Calif. - In a world where perception is reality, things can look pretty appealing from the outside, even when they're not. Since the 90's, rappers like Lil Wayne have glorified sizzurp.
You get this drink from mixing prescription cough syrup, a soft drink like sprite, and candy. Lil Wayne isn't the first rapper to sing about sizzurp. It was actually a Houston music producer who popularized the concoction. His name was Robert Earl "DJ Screw" Davis. He first sang about sizzurp, or lean, or purple drank. He died in 2000 from a codeine overdose in addition to mixed drug intoxication.
"This is something that is used, that is obviously promoted by those who use it. But the reality is that codeine is being not used as prescribed. That's always a dangerM" addiction specialist Rose Swearingen said.
Swearingen said young people see the music video side of it and not the hospital room result of it.
"The dangers are the symptoms. It can cause dizziness, heart palpitation, things that are not told or shown to kids who watch the excitement of what the drug does," Swearingen said.
To find out what exactly that excitement is, we found someone who would share his sizzurp experience with us, anonymously. He describes what he calls a numbing feeling.
"It makes you feel good because it kind of blocks out the bad feelings for a short amount of time. If you feel pain in your body, physical pain, you're gonna want to take a narcotic pain killer to relieve that pain. In some cases that's the only thing that's gonna do it."
He continued on "I guess it was the whole 'it was in the song'. You hear about something and you want to try it. You're a kid. You're like, 'What is this, let's try it.'"
Celebrities will never go away, and neither will their influence.
"There's a lot of things in the world that we see that we're influenced by, and we have to make choices,
" Swearingen said.
Parents, here's what Swearingen says you can do for your children.
"There are children who talk about drug use, drug abuse, and for parents to be interactive with them. To allow them to express themselves and share with them the dangers of what might happen," she said. "Ending up in the hospital, or in a mental ward, or dead."
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