CRACKING DOWN ON CODEINE
Codeine phosphate is an opioid analgesic drug — otherwise known as a painkiller or narcotic. It is a relatively mild narcotic, but when used in large amounts, it can still be quite dangerous.
Typically, codeine is prescribed to treat mild to moderate pain, but its recreational use and popularity has grown in recent years. Codeine is a favorite among young adults and high school students (Nielsen et al., 2015; Jonasson et al., 2000).
Alcohol, however, is still the most popular drug in the United States, and that distinction does not seem to be slowing down any time soon. Alcohol is widely abused by adults and by teenagers, with nearly 40% of all high school students having at least tried some alcohol in the past 30 days despite the fact that alcohol is illegal for individuals under the age of 21 (NIAA, 2013).
When used in conjunction, alcohol and codeine can enhance their respective effects and increase the potential for a drug overdose. Alcohol inhibits the metabolism of codeine or other opioids, thereby increasing codeine’s effects (Swift, 2008; Hall 1996).
We’ve been hearing about it for years in top-ranking rap and hip-hop tracks. It’s become a staple in the underground party scene- sometimes with deadly consequences. The cheap but powerful cough syrup-based drink known as “lean” was the suspected cause behind rapper Lil Wayne’s health problems in 2016, including multiple seizures. It’s no surprise, then, that he and Chris Brown have been named in a federal investigation surrounding a supposed celebrity drug and lead dealer, Harrison Garcia.
Self-nicknamed the “CEO of Sizzurp”, Garcia’s Instagram account tells a story of extravagance and suspiciously gained wealth. His online presence seemed to brag about a lifestyle supported by drug trafficking to affluent customers. His Instagram includes images of him and stacks of money, jewelry, and a screenshot showing an alleged transaction from Chris Brown totally $15,000. Following his arrest for drug trafficking, text messages also allegedly showed Garcia bragging about delivering drugs to Lil Wayne.
Lean Crackdown: Lil Wayne and Chris Brown Named in Federal Investigation image
Both musical artists have garnered public attention and ridicule regarding their drug use, including criticism for promoting use of “lean”, “sizzurp”, and other such street concoctions in their music. As mentioned previously, fans of Lil Wayne were quite concerned about his deteriorating health throughout 2016 after he suffered a string of seizures including one on a private plane. While no specific cause has ever been released, suspicion about the connection to his drug abuse and excessive lean drinking continues to circulate.
More recently, colleagues of singer and rapper Chris Brown have expressed concern about his alleged substance abuse habits following an apparent mental health spiral. His ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran filed a restraining order against him after he posted several concerning posts and videos to his Instagram account making alarmingly possessive statements that felt threatened by. Brown has a hard partying reputation on top of his past of domestic abuse toward singer Rihanna. Following that incident, Brown cited it as one of his