May 29, 2013

Forget Klonopin or coke: How to party like a tween heartthrob

Rumors came flying over my transom this morning that a certain young—very young—Hollywood talent has been partying like it’s 2013. You know. Drugwise. We’ll leave this tidbit as a blind item for obvious reasons, but just in case you’re wondering just what the beautiful young twerkers are into this year, I have the intel.

It’s not Klonopin anymore; pity. After all, if you’re going to brave the depths of a raging Hollywood house party, it really helps if you’re unnaturally calm.

It’s not Adderall, though something tells me that the star I’m thinking of probably wouldn’t kick you out if you showed up with some as a royal sacrifice.

But it is a prescription drug. And that drug is...cough syrup, the kind with codeine. Partiers mix it with soda to mask the nasty taste. Dubbed sizzurp or purple drank, the oh-so-deelish description reminds me of a cuppa that my friends used to concoct in college when we weren’t feeling particularly discerning, which was all the time: Mountain Dew and bourbon or scotch. My chums dubbed the drink an Ookla the Mok.

Per the Los Angeles Times, “Recreational users generally mix two ounces of codeine-promethazine cough syrup with a 12-ounce can of soda to achieve a high. Habitual abusers with a high opioid tolerance have been known to take up to 25 times the recommended dosage over the course of a day.”


Given how nasty the stuff must taste, I asked an addiction specialist why anyone would ever take a second sip of sizzurp after having a first.

“This is a highly addictive drug, on the same spectrum as heroine or cocaine,” Dr. Damon Raskin, a double certified internist and an addiction specialist with Cliffside Treatment Center, tells me. “It’s in the same family as other opiates.”

Fair enough. As for how stars get their hands on such prescription opiates when they don’t have a cough, well, I asked about that too. 

“A medicine cabinet of a friend with a prescription,” Raskin says. “Or maybe a doctor gave some to someone whose cough lasted two days and they have a bottle left over. They’ll make up stories. They’ll find it online.”

Musician Li’l Wayne has discussed his own experiences with the drug as well as rapped about it in song.

“It’s definitely more popular in the rapper and gangster communities,” Raskin notes.

But, just to be clear: The person at the center of the latest sizzurp rumor? Not a rapper.

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