Sayonara Sizzurp: So What’s Next?
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Sayonara Sizzurp: So What’s Next?


This post was originally published on April 30, 2014.

The growing trend of DIY narcotics makes the news again but this time the spotlight isn’t on what’s in Justin Beiber’s pimp cup; quite the opposite. Greatly in part of its popularity with rappers and rapper wannabes, the base ingredient for the well known “purple drank”—aka sizzurp aka a ton of other weird names—has been pulled off the market and surprisingly the FDA had nothing to do with it.

Syrup Trail Blazer

Bearing the commercial label “Prometh” (and the technical name promethazine codeine syrup), the manufacturer of sizzurp, Actavis, has made a self-proclaimed “bold and unprecedented decision” to stop making their legal loophole of a product, pulling the remaining stock off the shelves and greatly upsetting rapper Souljia Boy in the process (as Urban Daily wrote, “Somebody come get Soulja Boy and help him get bigger problems.”) While the company’s public statement would have us believing that their decision was made purely out of a moral concern of abuse, it’s safe to say that there must be some serious behind-the-scenes drama going down for a pharmaceutical company like Actavis to willingly stop collecting revenue from this popular a product.

But if you are thinking that the discontinuation of drank is a step in the right direction, I wouldn’t be so sure. While it’s great to see consequences here, I can’t imagine it’s going to stop other companies from cashing in. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before some other company comes out with another potentially dangerous yet legal product and takes advantage of the sweet spot between launch and when the shit hits the fan. It seems that these sorts of things have become something of a pop-up business model where they find FDA loopholes and get paid until there’s a lawsuit big enough to shut the party down, rinse and repeat.

Those Who Can’t Buy, Make

The other factor at play here that makes the discontinuation of Prometh most likely inconsequential is the current craze of do-it-yourself party favors. With sizzurp off the market, I imagine it will only motivate teenagers to get back to the drawing board, mixing concoction after concoction in the makeshift labs of their bedrooms until they find another over-the-counter item to turn into a lethal party punch. With the popularity of drink fads like foolio, there is nothing stopping the young and the restless from creating a new cocktail—consisting of Zima, liquid acid, female ejaculatory, cayenne pepper, freshly grated ginger, shredded pieces of Guns and Roses’ “Appetite for Destruction” album cover, mineral water and a twist of lemon—and there’s really nothing any of us can do about it.

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About Author

Danielle Stewart is a Los Angeles-based writer and recovering comedian. She has written for Showtime, E!, and MTV, as well as print publications such as Us Weekly and Life & Style Magazine. She returned to school and is currently working her way towards a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves coffee, Law & Order SVU, and her emotional support dog, Benson.