What is Couch Syrup?

what is couch syrup

Couch Syrup, that’s right couch not cough, although it is in actuality cough syrup, refers to a specific kind of liquid cough medicine – that containing promethazine and codeine. This is a by-prescription-only medication that people have been using recreationally and abusing. This is not your typical over-the-counter cough syrup; couch syrup contains potent drugs that can lead to overdose and death.

Couch syrup has many other slang names such as purple drank, sizzurp, lean, syrup, drank, purple jelly, and Texas tea.

First called purple drank, couch syrup has been a popular recreational drug in the rap and hip hop community in the southern United States, originating in Houston, Texas. Couch syrup is made more palatable by being mixed with soft drinks such as Sprite or Mountain Dew. Purple drank gets its name from the purplish hue from the dye in the cough syrup.

Couch Syrup Can Be Fatal

Both the codeine and the more potent promethazine are depressants which mean that they slow down the functions of the Central Nervous System (CNS), namely respiration. When overdose occurs, breathing slows to a complete stop. The person goes into respiratory arrest and then cardiac arrest. This is when death occurs.

Just like with other CNS depressants, mixing couch syrup with alcohol greatly increases the risk of respiratory failure and death.

Notable Deaths

Couch syrup has been either a confirmed or suspected  cause of death among several well-known people. 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.

Big Moe, one of DJ Screw’s successors died at age 33 in 2007, after suffering a heart attack and subsequently being in a coma. He was known to obsess over couch syrup and purple drank in his lyrics; this is apparent in his album titles: City of Syrup and Purple World. Needless to say, there was speculation that purple drank contributed to his death.

Couch Syrup and Alcoholism

According to the Urban Dictionary, couch syrup is “the liquor one hides in a couch (and throughout the house) while pretending to be sober.” This implies its relationship to an already well-known problem: alcoholism.

Signs of Alcoholism

If you are drinking couch syrup or alcohol and find that the following descriptions apply to you, then you should consider that your use is more than social or recreational.

If you:

  • can’t quit drinking or control how much alcohol you drink
  • need to drink more to get the same effect
  • have withdrawal symptoms if you stop drinking (nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety)
  • spend a lot of time drinking and recovering from drinking
  • have given up other activities in order to drink
  • keep drinking even though it cause problems in your relationships
  • keep drinking even though it is causing health problems

 Other red flags include:

  • Drinking in the morning and/or drinking alone
  • Switching from beer to wine because you think this will keep you from drinking or from getting drunk
  • Feeling guilty because of your drinking
  • Making excuses for your drinking
  • Buying alcohol from different stores and locations
  • Worrying that you won’t have enough alcohol for an evening, weekend, or holiday












If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.

Legal Ways to Get High: Energy drinks, Coffee, and Cough Syrup

Legal Ways to Get High: Energy drinks, Coffee, and Cough Syrup

Legal Ways to Get High: Energy drinks, Coffee, and Cough Syrup

It seems the newest trend in getting high is legal drugs. When I was a teen, we gravitated towards booze and pot when we wanted to get sh*t-faced, but today’s youth seems intent on finding the best legal way to get high. We had to wait outside the gas station to bribe a bum to buy us booze. Kids today, however, can walk in and get these “legal” drugs at gas stations, pharmacies, and on the internet with ease. As an added bonus, most of the legal ways to get high will not show up on a drug test.

Legal Ways to Get High: Energy drinks and Coffee

While energy drinks have been around since “Jolt” came out in the mid-80’s, they didn’t get really popular until the early 2000’s. Today, energy drinks are a 10 billion dollar market, and they are mostly marketed to young people.

Energy drinks and coffee both contain the same “high”-inducing chemical-caffeine. However, energy drinks often contain ingredients that enhance the caffeine in the drink. Or they contain guarana, which is a source of caffeine itself.

People don’t usually think of caffeine as a dangerous drug, but some energy drinks contain well over the recommended dose. In fact, the FDA recently confirmed reports that 5-hour energy could be responsible for as many as 13 deaths last year.

This legal way to get high can induce euphoria, but it can also cause nervousness, irritability, insomnia, abnormal heart rhythms and agitation. You can become dependent on energy drinks and coffee, and withdrawal can be a real bummer. So yes, caffeine is one of the legal ways to get high, but the mild euphoria you may feel isn’t really worth it.

Legal Ways to Get High: Cough Syrup

The first time I met someone in rehab who told me he was “in” for cough syrup, I seriously thought he was joking. I was still shaking, coming off of heroin, and totally irritable.

“Is that a real thing?” I asked, rolling my eyes.

Yes.  It was real enough to land him in a 30 day treatment center, anyway.

Cough syrup contains dextromethorphan, aka DXM. If you take it in sufficient quantities, you can hallucinate. I’ve heard you will also likely vomit, but I guess that’s the price you pay for this legal way to get high.

Of course, I always wondered why these people didn’t just take acid or shrooms, but cough syrup is legal, so it’s probably easier to get. I can understand using DXM once, out of curiosity or out of desperation, but I could not believe it would be someone’s drug of choice.

Between the puking, diarrhea, and muscle spasms, this doesn’t sound like a very fun legal way to get high, but to each his own, I guess.  And according to experts, the addiction to DXM is psychological, not physical. Keep in mind, however, you have to take a ton of cough syrup to get high: DXM only becomes a hallucinogen at 12.5 to 75 times the recommended therapeutic dose.

If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.