This afternoon I received an email from my child’s elementary school informing parents that some of the intermediate students had been looking into making a drink called "Lean" or "Purple Drank". This drink is a mixture of prescription cough medicine containing codeine and promethazine, soda, and sometimes the kids pop in a couple of Jolly Ranchers for added colour and taste.
“When sipped, it creates a euphoric high and dissociation from one's body which can last 3 to 6 hours.”
I’m on the internet all day, every day for my job and consider myself to pretty on top of what’s going on in the lives of teens/tweens but this was something I had never heard of.
Here’s what you need to know about this very dangerous drink.
Purple Drank is also known as Syrup, Lean, Purple Jelly, and Sizzurp and it is potentially lethal because codeine (which is in the same addictive opiate family as heroin) can cause your heart to slow down or stop. Mixing with alcohol greatly increases this risk.
And when kids can’t get their hands on a prescription codeine-based syrup, apparently they are trying this with over-the-counter cough medicines that contain dextromethorphan.
It's a scary fact but prescription drug abuse by teens is up and one of the reasons is that teens view them as less dangerous than illegal drugs because they are prescribed by a doctor. We all like to think that our kids will never do something like this but it's up to us to keep the conversation going and ensure they don't.
I'll be sitting down with my kids to talk to them about this tonight. Will you?