Tuesday, July 13, 2010

#601. Purple Drank Hangovers

Black people have no trouble "making it rain" in an all-out effort to impress strippers at Gentleman's Clubs across the land. It is the morning after "making it rain" that they find unforgiving.

However, Black people have been utilizing an unhealthy concoction, imbibing it in lethal doses to enhance their strip club and partying experiences for the better part of 20 years that might have contributed to felonious behavior at social gatherings.

Once, the contents of this beverage where a closely guarded secret among the Black communities Hip-Hop power-brokers (reminiscent of Willy Wonka), but the secret formula to a sugary nirvana couldn't be contained forever. And thus, the world became aware of Purple Drank:

Purple drank is a slang term for a recreational drug popular in the hip hop community in the southern United States. Its main ingredient is prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine.[1] Cough syrup is typically mixed with ingredients such as 7Up soft drink and pieces of Jolly Rancher candy. The purplish hue of purple drank comes from dyes in the cough syrup.

There are numerous slang terms for purple drank, including sizzurp,[2][3][4][5][6] lean,[1][3][4][7] syrup,[3][5][8] drank,[5][9] barre,[5] purple jelly,[4][5] and Texas tea.[9]

Purple Drank is a magical potion inducing a momentary - hallucinatory - glimpse of heaven with every swallow and has been an essential, indispensable amalgamation that has enabled Black people to perfect the idea of Blacking Out.

Allusions to Purple Drank are omnipresent in rap lyrics (perhaps a reason for gangsta rap going soft?) and are increasingly becoming a problem for the NFL, a league already hindered with continual personnel tribulations:

'Purple drank' has been quietly growing in popularity the last decade. Now it's reached the NFL.

JaMarcus Russell was arrested for possession of codeine syrup, a key ingredient in purple drank. The concoction: typically codeine and the antihistamine promethazine, mixed with Sprite or 7Up and Jolly Ranchers or other hard candy.

Former NFL player Marcellus Wiley doesn't believe consumption is widespread within the league, ''but obviously I think it's picking up some steam.''

''It doesn't have the negative connotation it should, the same negative connotation there is with crack cocaine or heroin,'' said Wiley, an ESPN analyst. ''People think of this purple drank as kind of a cool thing. Because people think it's cool, it invades that mentality, invades that culture, without alerting people to the dangers of it.''

Dr. Ronald Peters knows purple drank - also called sip-sip, syrup or lean - is hardly limited to the cultures of hip-hop or pro sports.

He remembers a decade or so ago visiting inner-city schools in Houston, where teachers were wondering why kids were so drowsy or what were they doing passing around purplish liquid-filled Sprite bottles one sip at a time.

''They kept talking about codeine-promethazine,'' said Peters, an associate professor at the University of Texas Health Service Center in Houston. ''You would go to schools and, literally, kids were falling asleep. I spoke to teachers and they asked why are kids falling asleep in the classroom? Why are eight people drinking from one Sprite bottle?''

Purple Drank might be a convenient way to quench ones thirst, but the consequence of prolonged exposure to the beverage have an unsavory effect that no one introducing it to their mouth could ever contemplate:

Purple drank is confirmed or suspected to have caused the deaths of several prominent users. Respiratory depression is a potentially serious or fatal adverse drug reaction associated with the use of codeine, but mainly the danger lies in the much more potent and CNS-depressing phenothiazine-related antihistamine promethazine. This depression is dose-related and is the mechanism for the potentially fatal consequences of overdose: respiratory or cardiac arrest. As with most CNS depressants, mixing with alcohol greatly increases the risk of respiratory failure and other complications.

DJ Screw, who popularized the codeine-based drink, died of a codeine-promethazine-alcohol overdose on November 16, 2000, several months after the video to Three 6 Mafia's single debuted.[8]

Big Moe, a DJ Screw protegé whose albums City of Syrup and Purple World were based on the drink and who has been described as having "rapped obsessively about the drug,"[20] died at age 33 on October 14, 2007, after suffering a heart attack one week earlier that left him in a coma.[21] There was speculation that purple drank may have contributed to his death. [15][22]

Pimp C, widely influential Port Arthur, Texas rapper and a member of rap duo UGK, was found dead on December 4, 2007, at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, California. The Los Angeles County Coroner's office reported that the rapper's death was "due to promethazine/codeine effects and other unestablished factors." Ed Winter, assistant chief of the coroner's office, said the levels of the medication were elevated, but not enough to deem the death an overdose. However, Pimp C had a history of sleep apnea, a condition that causes one to stop breathing for short periods during sleep. A spokesman for the coroner's office said that the combination of sleep apnea and cough medication probably suppressed Pimp C's breathing long enough to bring on his death.[4][20]

Yet another reason why saving money for the future is looked upon with disdain in the Black community as ingestion of Purple Drank in large quantities is the first step down a dark path that can lead to only eventuality.

Maybe Dave Chappelle was wrong, as it isn't Grape Drink that Black people love, but the idea that what lurks in the container could be the additive substance known as Purple Drank:

"Purple drank" first gained notoriety in the South, particularly in Houston.

The Houston Chronicle quoted local rapper Al D in 2007 as saying, in part, "When I was drinking 'drank,' I wasn't thinking about what it could be doing to my health. I'm 180 pounds and, when I was on 'drank,' I was 240. It (has) so much sugar in it that it blows you up, and it makes you eat a lot, and then you got the soda."

The mixture is dangerous, doctors say, because of the powerful nature of codeine coupled with alcohol.

"Your brain forgets to 'breathe,' " said Houston-area plastic surgeon Joe Perlman. "It numbs you."

The explosion of internet labs has made accessibility to prescription-based drugs without genuine medical need more pervasive, he said. Codeine syrup requires a prescription. In Russell's case, police said they did not find a prescription for the drug when they arrested him.

The doldrums of Black life can only be lifted with the careful mixing of ingredients to create the ultimate Purple Drank, regardless of well-established consequences of such consumption.

Though numerous musical hits have been produced that serve as odes to the Purple Drank, countless lives have been impacted negatively by perpetual sips of the syrup.

Stuff Black People Don't Like includes Purple Drank hangovers, for the sugar rush contained in each illegal drink has the function of turning real-life Black athletes/rappers into bloated, addicted Violet's (who don't turn violet, Violet, but they do gain weight).

And yet, like an Ode to a Grecian Urn the tributes to Purple Drank continue unabated from the Black community despite the deleterious effects of the beverage.


CWN said...

So perhaps this is what Prince's "Purple Rain" was really all about. A song about intoxicating purple drank and romance. A song of redemption and love. A journey of a man on the road to ruin, finding his way back home again. A song about addiction and recovery. Instead of letting the money rain, he let the purple drank rain.


Anonymous said...

Abstract thought and problem- solving have never been the black man's strengths, have they? Did they invent a long-lived and intellectually coherent religion? Nope. Did they ever build a city? Nope. Did they even invent bricks? Nope (the reason there's no Stonehenge in Africa is because it took more than 20 people to move the slabs of rock - clearly a non-starter in Africa, where assembling more than 20 blacks normally results in a war). Did they till the land? Nope. Did they domesticate an animal for their use? Nope. Did they invent a written language? Nope. Did they invent the wheel? Mainly, nope. Were they curious enough about what lay out across the sea to sail upon it? Nope.

elvin said...

They must like purple dranks because I heard the favorite snack for blacks is drinking grape soda and eating Cheetos while watching Jerry Springer

Anonymous said...

"They must like purple dranks because I heard the favorite snack for blacks is drinking grape soda and eating Cheetos while watching Jerry Springer"

I always heard it was red koolaid.

At one time Tahitian Treat was very popular among blacks.

Anonymous said...

#1 SBPDL: Givin' up on git'n high

One has to give credit where credit is due: No race is as persistant, consistent and fearless in chasing chemically induced highs.

Following the proven method of trial and error Africans tend to boldly experiment with any and all substances that promise to induce blissful intoxication.

In this manner aspiring black scientists have proven over and over that substances which where originally deemed useless and/or boring have indeed immediate value as recreational drugs:
"Getting high on HIV drugs in S Africa"

White people generally do not have the courage for self-experimentation on such a grand scale. If they do, the results tend to be boring and paltry. (Such as the Harrington–Hollingsworth experiment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrington%E2%80%93Hollingsworth_experiment).

Bravo to all you black brothers and sistas! Before long you will have ferreted out the numbing-potential of each and any possible molecular combination which mother earth has to offer.

Pity most of you frie yo' brains in the attempt.

YT said...

Yes, blacks love grape drinks that taste purple as fuck:


If you watch his sparkle movie part 1 there's a pretty funny rap song about kool aid a couple of minutes in.

CareyCarey said...

Okay, lets talk about the real thang. Drank,lean or purple rain did not hit the scene overnight(or last 10 years). In fact, it's been around for over 50 years... or more.

It's been on the streets of Chicago and many major cities for decades. In fact, in Chicago, a person can (could) ask for their own special mixture. Some people didn't like too much "lightening" in their syrup. So they'd get a slightly different mixer.

It's news to those that get their news off news wires or CNN or FOX NEWS, but this is nothing new.

You are correct however, the main ingredients in this "drug mixture" (your example) are codiene and promethazine.

Years ago, this wasn't called "drank". It has taken on that name because of (as you said)those that have popularized it. Those same ingredients were once found in Robbitussin AC (antihistimine with codiene)and similar cough mixtures. "Purple" had little or nothing to do with it.The makers of that cough syrup changed their antihistimine to a different drug, after decades of selling the old formula. Robitussin also sold a "DM" product. Unlike "AC" which was a class IV drug, "DM" could be bought over the counter. AND "AC" (codeine included)could be purchased with only a signature. NO Script!

But here's another eye opener. There is a Cadilac of syrups called Hyco-tussin(sp) and TussinX and variations of them. The syrups you've been speaking of pales in comparison to them. But we don't need to talk about them.

But here's the bottom line. All opiate are habit forming. Meaning, they are very hard to kick. You can die from alcohol withdrawal. It seldom happens with opiate withdrawal, but the withdrawal is so intense and long, that few make it to the other side (very few).

Codiene is in bed with Heroin. They are made from the same plant... The Poppy! Codiene (like heroin) does produce a sleep effect. But codiene alone is not smooth and it makes a person itch. But when mixed with certain antihistimines the affect move to a rich euphoria. It's like being asleep while being awake.

The central nervous system is put at rest/ease.

Side note: It also holds back ejaculation. Guys love it for that quality. It makes them feel like Tarzan.

Although I've seen many many many people drink 8-16 oz (or more) of syrup at one time(1 hour) I never saw one overdose off this drug combination. The problem arises when other drugs, like alcohol, or "beans" are added to the solution. Alcohol is a huge depressant.

In short, change the name, change the slang, the game still stays the same. It just depends on where a person find their news. Check it out and see if I've made any errors.

And, Oxycotin is the new stream roller! It's death in a pill. Again, another opiate. Please excuse the mispelled words. This didn't come from google.

CareyCarey said...

OPPs, forgot to subscribe by email. This oughta do it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe these poor kids who got their lemonade stand knocked over were selling the wrong stuff, judging by their neighborhood.


I bet they coulda made a killing selling sizzrp, all they need is bulletproof glass.

The perps: