Beliefs and Social Norms About Codeine and Promethazine Hydrochloride Cough Syrup (CPHCS) Use and Addiction Among Multi-Ethnic College Students

J Psychoactive Drugs. 2007 Sep;39(3):277-82. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2007.10400614.


In this study a qualitative approach is used to investigate relevant beliefs and norms concerning the consumption, initiation, and perceived addiction of codeine and promethazine hydrochloride cough syrup (CPHCS) among 61 college-age students who identified themselves as current CPHCS users. In general, a majority of students stated that doctors and pharmacists were the greatest facilitators of CPHCS acquisition. A majority of students believed that their friends felt codeine promethazine use was "normal" and "cool" among college students their age, and that reinforcing factors, such as peer pressure and curiosity, contributed to initial CPHCS use.

MeSH terms

  • African Continental Ancestry Group
  • Antitussive Agents / adverse effects
  • Antitussive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Codeine / adverse effects
  • Codeine / therapeutic use*
  • Cough / drug therapy*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Promethazine / adverse effects
  • Promethazine / therapeutic use*
  • Public Opinion*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Students
  • Substance-Related Disorders / ethnology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Universities


  • Antitussive Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • Promethazine
  • Codeine