Jane Maxwell: When we talk about these products, the most common names are like, “Syrup,” or “Drank,” or “Lean.” Which are common street terms for this. So if you get a kid talking about, “Leaning on Syrup,” or even talking about, “Gonna go get me some Syrup,” these ought to be key words to parents that these kids are using codeine cough syrup.
The drug codeine is a dissociative drug sort of like Ketamine, in which your mind and your body kind of separate. So they are famous drugs of abuse to begin with. And they talk about doing it, they talk about leaning on syrup, because if you sip on it all day long it is like getting very drunk. And you literally have to lean on something to stand up.
Because it is codeine, which is a narcotic, it can cause addiction. If you drink too much of it, it can cause seizures, which we have seen recently, and you might well end up in treatment. We have people in treatment in Texas every year who have gotten addicted to codeine. And once you get addicted, you can’t go into withdrawal and just cut it off and go cold turkey, you’re going to be very ill for a while.
So you are messing with something that can be very dangerous in terms of their treatment, and their future life.
For more information on this emerging trend, please see Leaning on syrup - The misuse of opioid cough syrup in Houston (PDF, 276KB)