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Photo by Tosin Ogunnoiki.
Photo by Tosin Ogunnoiki.

Codeine Crazy: A status update on drug culture

By: Joseph Richardson

From house parties to kickbacks, recreational drugs always seem to find their way into the scene.

Common recreational drugs come in the form of a blunt or a substance encased into a tablet, but certain drugs have taken an alternate form.

Purple drink, dirty sprite and sizzurp are just a few of the many names linked with the drug codeine.

Codeine is an opiate that is normally sold in salt form in the form of a pill or mixed into a liquid for cough suppressant.

Codeine is normally digested via the cough suppressant form.

It is normally added to a sweet beverage for taste.

Much like other drugs, codeine is heavily promoted in modern culture.

Hip-hop culture is one of the most common ways that codeine is promoted.

Artists like Drake, Future and Lil Wayne have a big impact on the popularity of codeine.

Outside of the music realm, codeine does not seem to appeal to many people at all.

“I have seen people do codeine recreationally, and I just don’t get it,” said GPC student Nzinga Imani. “Personally, I am high off of life.”

So if people are not that interested in codiene outside the music realm, why is it so heavily promoted?

“I heard that if you start to take codeine, you become hooked to it,” said GPC student Abdul Omar.

It seems that a lot of people have the wrong concept about codeine, which may lead to both the consumption and the sustainment of codeine.

Not only is codeine promoted in pop culture but it’s seems to be easily accessible.

Codeine, unlike other recreational drugs like marijuana and cocaine, is normally purchased through an actual pharmacy.

“When I used to work at a pharmacy I would see people come in with actual valid prescriptions and obtain mass amounts of codeine,” said Akramah Haseen, a GPC student.

It may seem that codeine fascinates many users due to the misconceptions of what codeine actually does to you.

Drugs like meth, crack and heroin have very clear side affects that are usually understood and explicitly stated.

Codeine is more like marijuana in status; with marijuana still being researched and the long term effects still unclear, it presents itself as the recreational drug of choice.

Although codeine is not fully understood, the short term effects are clear.

The user can result in serious side effects like memory loss, hallucinations and even slowed heartbeat.

What makes most users oblivious to these side effects is simply the promotion in pop culture.

A lot of musicians encourage the use of codeine and pursuing your inner codeine astronaut.

Not only do musicians support it, but there is actually a line of drinks that serve as “legal” forms of codeine.

“Sippin’ Syrup” is a brand of drinks that promotes the imitation of the famous purple drink, and encourages users to consume their product as a legal alternative.

The drink comes in a variety of flavors.

Whether your taste palate prefers the “classic grape” or leans more towards “mellow melon,” there seems to be a big variety to appeal to many consumer tastes.

The target audience for this recreational drug is what separates it from many others.

Unlike marijuana, cocaine, and even heroin which tends to attract all ages, codeine seems to attract mainly teenagers and college students due to its party-like nature.

Because codeine is mainly consumed in liquid form, it is often sold in liquid form called “lean” and the actual process of being under the influence of the drug is called “leaning.”

It doesn’t end there though.

Codeine is so tightly weaved into modern-day culture that you can simply search a “how to” video on Youtube on the production of lean.

With Styrofoam cups now replacing plastic cups at parties, codeine is starting to catch the eyes of many.

Codeine is an opiate, and like most drugs in the opiate family, is very addictive.

With addiction comes recreational use, with recreational use comes a plateau and with a plateau only comes overdosing.

Just as most other drugs, codeine consumers may go to the extreme and overdose, making the drug lethal. This may lead codeine to get a bad reputation for the amount of deaths that it will cause.

So at your next party just remember: liquor is no longer the only beverage sold at parties, and marijuana hits are no longer the only pursuit of happiness.

About Farhin Lilywala

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