Against Substance Abuse Purple Drank Purple Drank effects:

2016-04-20 06:00

PURPLE Drank is a mixture of a prescription cold medication with a soda drink like Sprite.
The main addictive substance in Purple Drank is the codeine, which is an opiate.
The ingredients combined make a purple liquid that is then sipped until euphoria and dissociation from one’s body occur.

These effects will last between three and six hours. There are
numerous slang terms for purple drank, including sizzurp, lean,
syrup, drank, barre, purple jelly, Texas tea, dirty Sprite and Tsikuni.

According to Houston-based author Lance Scott Walker, purple drank developed in that city around the 1960s when blues musicians would take Robitussin (over-the-counter and prescription cough
and cold medicines) and cut it with beer.

A former addict stated he first encountered it in Durban in 2014, now he says that abuse of the mixture is rapidly growing in popularity with the youth in Ngwelezana and Empangeni.

“Everything is slowed. It feels as though you’re vibrating, you can’t focus on anything when you’re on it, you can’t remember anything.”

• constricted pupils that do not respond well to light;
• rough, raspy voice;
• slow, slurred speech;
• uncontrolled eye movement;
• droopy eyes;
• slowed heart rate;
• drowsiness;
• loss of balance;
• loss of co-ordination;
• paleness;
• constipation;
• urinary tract infection;
• dental problems; and
• addiction.

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.

Warning signs for parents to look out for:

• changes in friends, physical appearance, sleeping or eating patterns
• declining grades;
• loss of interest in hobbies or other favourite­ activities;
• hostile or unco-operative attitude; and
• unusual chemical or medicinal smells.

- Bianca Holman S.A.C (dip)
Addictions counsellor.

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