What is Drank?
Drank is short for “purple drank”, a recreational drug that contains cough syrup as the main ingredient. Usually cough syrups that have either codeine or promethazine is used in making this drug which is why some people refer to this illegal formulation as codeine syrup or promethazine syrup. Other urban and slang terms for this drug are “lean”, “purple jelly”, and “sizzurp”. It is said that this drug originated from the hip hop community in Texas, so people also refer to it as “Texas tea”. The “purple” in the term comes from the color of the cough syrup used in the mixture. Usually people add some softdrink like Sprite to add flavor to this drug. Others even put some Jolly Rancher candy into the mix. The original mix was said to be popularized by DJ Screw who hails in Houston and since then, “drank” has reached other hip-hop communities in the southern parts of the US.
Drank or Purple drank has become illegal because of possible abuse of the active ingredients codeine and/or promethazine in the cough syrup used. Codeine is an opiate type of cough medication with antitussive effect while promethazine is known to have some sedative effects. When either of these drugs is ingested at very high doses, it causes sedation and hallucinogenic effects. These effects are what people are after and many are already addicted to this type of illegal substance or mixture. But aside from its intended sedation and altered consciousness effects, overdose of this illicit drug may lead to severe depression of the respiratory system which could lead to death.
But aside from the original cough syrups containing codeine and/or promethazine, other people use alternative ingredients. Some use cough syrups that contain hydrocodone and even over-the-counter cough syrups like Robitussin. Some also people use vodka instead of the cough syrups in making this recreational and illegal drink.