Protecting Our Youth From Dangerous Influences

Friday, September 6th, 2013
Listening to music can have great benefits—or great risks

Listening to music can have great benefits—or great risks

In today’s society, parents seem to be in a constant battle to shield their children from unhealthy influences, especially those relating to drugs and drinking. Unfortunately, in much of the music, films, and television popular with teens and preteens, substance use has become a frequent topic—and not always shown in a negative light. In a particularly alarming development over the past few years, hip-hop and pop culture has popularized a dangerous and addictive concoction known variously as purple drank, sizzurp, lean, Texas tea, and other names.  This drink usually consists of prescription cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine mixed with a carbonated beverage such as Sprite or Mountain Dew.  While the common name of “purple drank” comes from purple dyes in the cough syrup, pieces of Jolly Rancher or Skittles candy are frequently added to produce a rainbow effect. Because the codeine in the cough syrup is an opiate, the substance can be highly addictive.

Use of this concoction results in a number of effects, including a euphoric, disassociated state, which can also include hallucinations.  In addition, there are a number of dangerous side effects, such as extreme drowsiness, weakness, sluggish heart rate and respiration, loss of coordination, slurred speech, seizures, urinary tract infections, and death.

Phoenix Houses of Florida Responds

At Phoenix Houses of Florida, we work hard to keep abreast of trends in drug use in order to better serve our clients. We have recently seen a marked increase in the use of this dangerous concoction, and we do our best to educate clients and their families about its effects and dangers, especially when mixed with other substances such as alcohol.

In response to this and other drug-related threats to individuals and to the community as a whole, we provide evidence-based outpatient treatment to adolescents and adults at the Derek Jeter Center in Tampa and at the Brandon Outpatient Center in Brandon.  At Phoenix House Citra Center, our residential treatment facility in Marion County, men and women receive gender-specific rehabilitation, including treatment for those with co-occurring mental health issues. Our highly skilled, compassionate professional staff at all three locations take pride in helping individuals overcome addition and go on to healthier and happier futures.

If someone you love is struggling with the effects of drug or alcohol abuse, please call Phoenix House today at 1 888 671 9392. We are always here to help.

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