Purple Drank Prevalence and Characteristics of Misusers of Codeine Cough Syrup Mixtures

Addict Behav. 2013 Sep;38(9):2445-9. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.03.020. Epub 2013 Apr 4.


A mixture of codeine cough syrup with alcohol and/or a soft drink known as "purple drank" has gained media attention in recent years as a drug associated with professional athletes and southern rap music. The existing research on purple drank consumption has primarily utilized samples of African Americans residing in the Houston, Texas area. This is the first scholarly study of purple drank use outside of the Houston, Texas area among a general population of young adults, and indicates that purple drank use is not limited to African American males. The findings depict higher odds of the use of purple drank among other racial and ethnic groups, males, and homosexual, bisexual, and transgender college students from urban areas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Antitussive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Asian Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Codeine / adverse effects*
  • Cough / drug therapy
  • Data Collection
  • Demography
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Promethazine / adverse effects
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sexuality / statistics & numerical data
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Universities
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult


  • Antitussive Agents
  • Promethazine
  • Codeine