An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the DrugAbuse.com Forums?Join or

Is cough syrup used as a drug as often as they say?

Discussion in 'Prescription Drugs' started by Rory, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Rory

    Rory Active Contributor

    When I was in middle school, I remember there was a boy in my neighborhood (older than me) who would ingest cough syrup as a recreational drug. He mixed it with Sierra Mist. That was the only instance I've ever seen someone getting high off of "purple drank". I went to a lot of parties in high school, and I didn't see it ever again. Even in college, I don't see it.

    Even so, I have my younger siblings telling me that their teachers are cracking down hard on cough syrup use in their schools. Is it becoming more popular?
  2. moreno58

    moreno58 Active Contributor

    I know of a person that I guess uses it for that, I'm assuming. We gave a friend of the family a place to stay and she had been known to have problems with abusing prescription pills. In any case, I always have cough medicine on hand and Nyquil and things like that. After her living with us for about two weeks, I had went to get some cough medicine for my daughter and what I seen was so unreal. I had what were two bottles of cough medicine, one for adult and one for children and a bottle of nyquil, empty. I confronted her and she told me it was because she couldn't sleep, but I was told by one of friends how she would drink them to get a high. It was very disturbing because I had to start hiding everything. So I guess maybe it could be a recreational drug.
  3. juno

    juno Community Champion

    I believe cough syrup is often used by teens because it is easy to access in the medicine cabinets in their own home. Parents should really monitor there medicine cabinets even if their kids are older because that is when there is a risk of abusing any of the medication that is stored at home. I think with adults they may resolve to cough syrup if they have run out of everything else and don't have money to access other ways of getting high or drunk. I do know of many people who use it for sleep.
    moreno58 likes this.
  4. moreno58

    moreno58 Active Contributor

    I agree it is better safe then sorry. I always keep all my medicines put up in my room and out the reach of my kids. I mean you just never know. So many things these days, just have too be careful.
  5. Whiskers

    Whiskers Active Contributor

    That is common with school kids who need a `high' on something. Cough syrup has a dizzying effect they mistake for a high. I feel it too, when I take some brands of it. This is not a good habit altogether.
  6. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    It's fairly common here in the UK too - at least in my area anyhow. People tend to use it as a last resort - if they can't get their hands on anything else. Obviously, not ALL cough syrup can be abused in such a manner, it depends on which active ingredients they contain.
  7. Rory

    Rory Active Contributor

    Hmmm. Perhaps kids these days have trouble differentiating "high" from "drowsy". Like prescription drugs, cough syrup is pretty easy for most kids to come by. It's also easy to ingest, and since there's no smoking or snorting involved, it's a pretty accessible drug. It makes sense for it to be a popular choice among younger people. I just didn't know it had gotten so much more popular over the years.
  8. moreno58

    moreno58 Active Contributor

    The bad thing about it is, it's not only kids using it, it's also adults that apparently will drink a whole bottle with no problem. I never even thought of cough syrup in this way till one of my daughters friend that visited with us was caught drinking a 4 bottles of cough syrup during the two days she was there. It was unreal, I couldn't believe it.
  9. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    I remember when people used to do this. It really hasn't been that popular these days. This was the worst way to get high because it could cause problems with your breathing and make your heart stop after a while. A lot of people died from the "purple drank". I don't mess with this stuff any more.
  10. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I'm also in the UK and also think it's fairly common, also. It's obviously a lot easier to get hold of than other drugs so it is used as a high, for people who can't get any other form of drug.

    I'm not sure what sort of buzz they get off it but the fact it's used tends to suggest they find it's worth it.
  11. 111kg

    111kg Community Champion

    It depends :D If that cough syrop doesn't have any codeine, then they spend a lot of money on practically...nothing, which is kind of funny if you ask me. If it does have codeine however, the situation changes a bit. For instance, in US it is considered a FELONY to use or have codeine without a prescription while in my country you need a green prescription for your physician. If you don't have, there is no way you can buy even cough syrup.
  12. knitmehere

    knitmehere Community Champion

    It's not used as much anymore because you can't get Codeine OTC in the US, and a lot of doctors are hesitant to prescribe it to certain age groups. It's really popular among people who have a lot of money.

    Sadly, it's a big killer. People don't even realize that's where they are headed until they are already gone.