A dangerous cocktail of soda and cough syrup laced with codeine is making headlines in the music world. Rapper Lil Wayne reportedly overdosed last week and ended up hospitalized. Meanwhile, TMZ is speculating that Justin Bieber is abusing the concoction also.
Dr. Cynthia Lewis -Younger is medical director of the Florida Poison Information Center in Tampa. She says they see the abuse of cough and cold medicines every day.
"We had around 500 cases reported to the poison centers across the state last year," said Dr. Lewis -Younger.
There are songs about sizzurp and videos too. Popular music and culture have glorified it for more than a decade, despite its serious effects.
"Theoretically, it could kill somebody if you had enough," said Dr. Lewis - Younger.
She says Sizzurp can also cause intoxication, seizures, fast heart rate, and dangerous blood pressure levels.
Those risks, however, seem unknown up against the star power of international celebrities like Lil Wayne. Their influence reaches far beyond Tampa.
"They have a massive, massive following, wherever they go. Young kids who see them doing stuff like that, they want to be just like their idols," said Jack Gillespie, a tourist visiting Tampa from England.
Lil Wayne has been released from the hospital.
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