How much is a codeine filled bottle of the “Purple Drank” worth to athletes? Approximately $600 -$800 on the street. Marijuana has long been a popular drug choice of athletes in the U.S. For years, the stereotype was the African-American players and their marijuana use. However, with the recent arrest and alleged admittance of use from NFL player Chris Simms, white players admitted various drug use may be on the rise. This brings us back to the “Purple Drank.”
Why is the Purple Drank and its “highs” and intense intoxication so highly popularized down in the “Dirty South” by athletes and Hip Hop artists?
Purple drank is a slang term for a recreational drug popular in the hip hop community in the southern United States. Its main ingredient is prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine. Cough syrup is typically mixed with ingredients such as 7Up soft drink and pieces of Jolly Rancher candy. The purplish hue of purple drank comes from dyes in the cough syrup.
Read the NFL Huddle article - Numb Nutt Alert: JaMarcus Russell Busted for “Purple Drank”
JaMarcus Russell’s arrest is not the first for an athlete. Former San Diego Chargers defensive back, Kiel, was busted for sending a package of codeine. Unfortunately, he later died in a single car accident where is blood level for alcohol was three times the Texas legal limit. The drug was popularized on the streets in Fifth Ward, an inner city neighborhood in Houston, Texas. The home of Houston’s popular rappers like the Ghetto Boys, Slim Thug and D.J. Screw (who would produce his unique sounds as a result of the intoxicating Purple Drank influence while in the studios). D.J. Screw would slow down his recordings and other artist’s music, resulting in long, deep voiced “Southern Droll” tones, also known as “Chopped and Screwed”. D.J. Screw’s “Chopped and Screwed Music” actually allowed his audience to have a window into his mental state, “slow motion” and “foggy”, while on the concoction. Sadly, D.J. Screw did not live to celebrate his 30th birthday. He died at the age of 29, due to a codeine overdose.
The NFL and NBA have banned the illegal use of codeine and will suspend players for abusing the drug. The problem is the most this “recreational use” is increasing in the leagues. Russell is not the first “high profiled” player to be caught and may not be the last. As more athletes are getting exposed and arrested for their drug use, Purple Drank, in particular, it is important that athletes, coaches, owners, managers and all affiliated parties are educated about the “silent, sneaky, addictive and lethal” effects of improper codeine use. This drug, mixed with fruity flavors and 7UP or other light beverages, could go down smooth; however, the results could be quite rough. Ultimately, the outcome of ingesting Purple Drank could be an early and unplanned funeral and extreme sadness for loved ones. Perhaps, on a positive note, each time an arrest is made, a life is saved. Of course, the positive take can only be true if, the arrested party is ready to live focused, everyday, all of the time and no longer wishes to be exist in a brain muddling “purple haze”.