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Drugs & Health Blog

Sizzurp: It’s Not Cool

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
Sara Bellum

In recent months, gossip magazines have reported on Justin Bieber’s erratic behavior, such as wearing a gas mask, fainting at a London concert, and traveling with a monkey. Mixed in with these reports is speculation about Bieber’s alleged use of a drug concoction called “Sizzurp.”

Bieber isn’t the only musician associated with the drink. Back in March and again at the beginning of May, rapper Lil Wayne was admitted to the hospital with seizures, allegedly from his use of Sizzurp (although he denied it).

NIDA works to stay on top of new drugs. If celebrities are involved, it’s even more important for people—especially teens—to know the facts, because sometimes people may think something’s cool just because a star does it.

Facts About Sizzurp

First, it is not cool. In fact, it’s quite dangerous. Sizzurp, also known as "Lean" and "Purple Drank," is a mixture of cough medicine—often prescription strength, containing an opioid called codeine—and soft drinks and candy for flavor. Abuse of cough medicines, especially ones that contain opioids, can cause an overdose leading to coma or even death. Less grave (but still serious) symptoms include nausea, dizziness, impaired vision, memory loss, hallucinations, and seizures like Lil Wayne experienced.

Teens may think that just because something is available from the pharmacy, it won’t harm them—but that’s not true. When not used as directed on the label, cough and cold medicines (even over-the-counter ones) can be dangerous.

Tell us in comments: If a celebrity does something, do you feel the urge to try it? What would you say to a friend who wanted to try Sizzurp?

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


don"t be a follower be a Leader
great comment. It's good to hear it from someone other than my parents and teachers!
good job i am so proud of u buddy change the world one druggie at at time
I hear this all the time,"don't be a follower, be a leader". The problem with this is not everyone has leadership in them. Having served in the military and on the police force, this is not always realistic. There is a time to lead and there is a time to follow. Lead when appropriate and follow when appropriate. All good leaders know how to follow but not all followers know how to be leaders!
Much Love . - Lil B
Dont let others choose the life you live
Cory Monteith from Glee just died from a possible drug overdose.

@James Thank you for the information. Sadly, Cory Monteith did die of an overdose. The Sara Bellum Blog recently published a post about his death:

we all make are own deacious,but its still not could to take all these bad drugs
I believe that Macklemore was also addicted to Sizzurp, as he describes in his song "Otherside" how he looked up to Lil Wayne, and was on the same mixture that Wayne was.
live your life but don't be harmful to your self
NO wonder why they call him the Bieber Fever
should have never started but its life
~Chose life and not death~ If it Can Kill You -Live without it !!! I hate it when people know that things a dangerous and still decide to do them but that's life . Always look at the effects that occur if you ever think that you might want to try something if you don't want the side effect(s) then don't do it.
They're celebrities... Why are they ruining the Fame?
they do dumb things, only because they don't really feel love, they have no self respect ANY MORE FOR THEMSELVES!
Life is short why not make it shorter with sizzurp
no i wouldnt i think its just plain stupid
drugs are wack
thank god no one on here said they loved justin bieber you should see the page where he's high on marijuana prescription drugs and drunk and then he street races in a Lamborghini
H20 lean samething "No Flex Zone"
Why do people still do this. Thy drugs that kids do these days are ridiculous. Sizzurp is stupid
Don't Do Drugs.. Stay Based Fam
This explains all of the weird and stupid behaviors he has shown