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Utah teens getting high on syrup-based drink

SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 News) – A sweet drink popular among young adults is sending Utah teens to the hospital, as the drink can cause dangerous effects on the body.
SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 News) – A sweet drink popular among young adults is sending Utah teens to the hospital, as the drink can cause dangerous effects on the body.

“Robo-tripping” is known as a drink made from cough syrup and popular soda and candy.

Cough syrup contains an ingredient that can be harmful when taken in large amounts.

The drink causes a temporary euphoria, but it can also cause hallucinations, paranoia or trouble walking and talking.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Michael Desjardins with Journey Healing Centers in Salt Lake City said he has treated about seven to eight people who have overdosed on the drink since the start of 2013.

“You never hear about it, but this is happening everyday all across the State of Utah and across the country,” Desjardins said.

The drink also goes by the names “Purple drank,” “Lean,” and “Sizzurp.”

Taylorsville mother Tamra Nageli had never heard of it. She said it makes her nervous to know her 14-year-old Perrin son could be exposed to it.

“I know he’s got the common sense not to do that,” she said. “I hope he uses it.”

Perrin doesn’t understand why it is popular. He has heard of other teens drinking cough syrup, but said none of his friends have tried it.

Desjardins said “Robo-tripping” can have permanent psychotic effects.

“It really causes a lot of damage to the body,” he added.

If you think your teen might be abusing cough syrup, lock the medicine in a cabinet. The warning signs include an usual smell on your child, empty or missing cough and cold medicine bottles, and an unexplainable disappearance of money from the house.

Click here to seek help from Journey Healing Centers, a drug rehab center and alcohol addiction treatment in Utah.

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