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What is Sizzurp, and Why is it Illegal?

By Laura Strachan, Esq. | Last updated on

Walking down the drink aisle of the supermarket can be a daunting experience as the number of options seem to increase every day. One drink you won't see on the shelf .... Purple Drank (no, that is not a typo) also known as Sizzurp, among other names.

Sizzurp, which is actually a form of codeine cough syrup, is all over the news these days. Rapper T.I. was believed to be sipping on the substance when he got pulled over this week, football player JaMarcus Russell was quenching his thirst with the concoction when he was arrested over fourth of July weekend -- the drink has about as many celebrity fans as it does names. One problem through, Sizzurp is illegal. The drink is essentially a cough syrup cocktail, and the powerful ingredients contained in codeine are considered a controlled substance.

Sometimes referred to as a relaxation beverage, drinking large amounts of Sizzurp can place an individual in a state of euphoria, according to St. In reality, the euphoria is the result of imparied motor skills, lethargy, and drowsiness caused by the codeine. The drink, which has been popularized in rap songs and with its recent stint of publicity, can have fatal effects. When combined with alcohol, the potential for disaster only increases.

So, what is sizzurp and why is it illegal? Because the colorful drink contains a controlled substance not meant for recreational consumption, cops are on the lookout for anyone sipping on Sizzurp. The concoction is one part codeine cough syrup (which turns the mix purple), one part Jolly Rancher candy, and one part fruit flavored soda. Whether drinking, selling, or shipping cough syrups to make Sizzurp, there are some major criminal consequences attached to this growing trend.

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