Kids using cough syrup to mix potentially deadly drink

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by Shelly Mowrey, DrugFreeAz.org / Special to azfamily.com

GMAZ interview by Kaley O'Kelley

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 19 at 10:20 AM

PHOENIX -- Purple Drank. Lean. Syzzurp. These are just a few of the slang names for using a cough medicine to get high.

Recently, Syzzurp made the news because of a reported connection to rapper Lil Wayne’s hospitalization.

This concoction is a mixture of a prescription cough syrup with codeine, soda and hard candies to add sweetness. What users may not realize is that the codeine in the cough syrup is in the same class of drugs as heroin and morphine. Codeine is an opiate pain reliever that can be addictive when used in high doses and can be deadly if too much is taken.

In an interview with the media, Lil Wayne admitted to being addicted to Syzzurp, aka Sizzrup, in 2011 because it helped him deal with the stress of being a celebrity.

For parents this is an important message. Our kids will oftentimes find ways to manage or cope with the stress in their lives and oftentimes that is in the form of drinking or using drugs.

In a 2012 survey of Arizona students, one out of four said they used drugs or alcohol to deal with the stress in their lives.

One of the most important things a parent can do is spend time together with their children and talk about important issues like drinking and drugs. Like any relationship, the relationship with your child needs to grow.

What you say about drugs and alcohol is much different to a preschooler than a 10th grader. For help with what to say, visit the DrugFreeAz.org sample conversation page. There you will find age appropriate information to talk with your child at any age.

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