Question: What is the widely abused substance, first popularized in the Houston, Texas, hip-hop culture, known as “purple drank”?
Answer: The cited reference notes, “Also known as “syrup,” “sizzurp,” “barre,” and “lean” (nicknamed for the posture that users assume when intoxicated),
purple drank is a concoction that can take several forms. Most involve some form of codeine cough syrup containing the opiate painkiller codeine and
promethazine hydrochloride, an antihistamine with sedative properties. The cough syrup is typically mixed with a soft drink and candy, with some variants including alcohol. Other forms of this mixture can include over-the-counter cough syrups, which are easier to obtain and much cheaper than prescription strength codeine cough syrup, but produce different effects. For example, misuse of dextromethorphan can result in hallucinogenic effects, rather than the sedative effects of the traditional form of purple drank containing codeine and promethazine.
The high-profile arrest of former Oakland Raiders Quarterback JaMarcus Russell in 2010 for possession of codeine, and allegations of his habitual misuse, led to heightened awareness of a potential purple drank problem.” (Agnich LE et al. Purple drank prevalence and characteristics of misusers of codeine cough syrup mixtures. 2013 Addictive Behaviors 38:2445-2449)