All About Addiction

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Opiate Addiction in the Limelight: Lil Wayne

Is Little Wayne's drug use getting dangerous?

We've heard the rap lyrics referring to "Syzzurp" although my guess is that few of you knew what the hell people were talking about... That is until the recent collapse of Lil Wayne that led to a hospitalization and much talk about Weezy's addiction to "Syzzurp". Yes, we're expanding our lexicon here.

For those unfamiliar, syzzurp is essentially a cough syrup mixed with an opiate (like codeine), alcohol, and some sugar (as in a Jolly Rancher candy). The powerful combination of Dextromethorphan (a common ingredient in many cough syrups), which can be a hallucinogen at high enough doses, with alcohol and an opiate is sure to give quite the kick! I've never tried it myself but it seems to have become pretty popular in numerous circles including those of Weezy's Young Money crew.

Obviously, as we've mentioned before, opiate addiction and opiate withdrawal are nothing to play with and the combination of opiates and alcohol can lead to dangerous results including overdose. But the supposed cause of Lil Wayne's hospitalization has more to do with the fact that when tolerance to opiate effects develops one can begin taking the drug in quantities that are dangerous and approach the LD50 of the drug - the dose at which 50% of individuals would die.

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Now it's important to note that Wayne and his publicity team are not confirming the seizure news so we'll have to wait and see. Obviously there can be numerous reasons for seizures including a number of medical conditions and extreme stress. I hope to hear that he's recovered from whatever his trouble may be and look forward to seeing where he goes from here - YMCMB!

© 2013 Adi Jaffe, All Rights Reserved

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Adi Jaffe, Ph.D., is the executive director of Alternatives Behavioral Health and a lecturer at UCLA and California State University Long Beach.

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