More Things People Do to Get High: Sizzurp, Butane Hash
Sizzurp, Purple Drank
After Justin Bieber was arrested on various charges in Miami this winter, one TV station interviewed an addiction specialist about an item found during a raid of Bieber’s home: a concoction (or the makings for a concoction), called lean or the purple drink or sizzurp. The drink, popular among young celebs, is mixed with Sprite or Mountain Dew, for example.
According to the report, it’s a mixture containing two prescription drugs, codeine (often cough medicine with codeine) and an antihistamine, which can suppress one’s cardiovascular system, (and, the implication is, lead to death). Bieber had the high potency “champagne version,” the doctor said, adding that it can be ordered from Canada. (And sadly, there’s a lot of buzz about it on the Internet, including messages that sounded like young people asking about the recipe.) I haven’t heard much about Justin Bieber lately except that a group of people in Atlanta were protesting his buying a house there. Let’s hope he’s getting the help he needs.
Wikipedia has in-depth information on what it calls Purple Drank, if you trust it as a source. It turns out that sizzurp was first popular with Blues musicians in Houston in the 1960s and, more recently, with hip hop artists. One died of an overdose. It sounds like it tastes pretty horrible, since the Wikipedia entry noted that people add Jolly Rancher candy for taste or to disguise the taste of the cough syrup.
Butane hash, or hash oil
The L.A. Times is one of several papers reporting on the unfortunate makings of an epidemic in California in which people are hurting themselves during the manufacture of butane hash. In the process, butane is used to extract the “essential oil of the marijuana plant” (which I’m assuming is the TCH). The butane is lighter fluid, and the problem is that it catches fire or explodes.
Since 2012, more than 15 “cooks” and bystanders have been taken to Southern California burn centers, and in Northern California, even more people have landed in the UC Davis burn unit. A CBS San Francisco TV segment quotes a fire investigator as saying, “We’ve had the roofs lift off of homes. We’ve had houses blown off their foundations.”
The paper blames the problem on the state’s unregulated marijuana industry. It’s illegal to manufacture hash in CA but “pot supply stores can legally sell the butane canisters, dispensaries can sell the hash and anyone with a doctor’s recommendation can buy marijuana and ‘vape’ it,” the article said. (E-cigarettes have helped to make butane hash popular.)
Colorado, which has legalized the sale of pot, doesn’t have the same problem with butane hash. Hash oil is produced more safely, in a “closed loop system so that no vapor escapes, in rooms with powerful ventilation systems.” In addition, the state requires health and safety codes and inspections.
As with Sizzurp, hash oil, or butane hash, has its own Wikipedia entry, which notes that people have also caused explosions while making hash oil in Michigan and Virginia.
Photo: Justin Bieber in concert