CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- Action News investigates people mixing cough syrup and using it to get high.
Our Lynnsey Gardner investigated what some call "robotripping" and how it could be putting you and your family at risk.
Deputies said the drink is part lemon-lime soda and the other half is codeine. They said this is an easy way to get high and the ingredients are likely in your home: your medicine cabinet and your refrigerator. Even if you don't know about it, your kids likely do.
Gardner met with Clay County investigator Deputy Jacob Saunders to talk about the drink known by its users as syzzrup, lean or robotripping.
"It's a growing problem everywhere." said Saunders who is on Clay County's DUI Task Force. "It comes from a substance anyone can get."
"Is this an easy way to get high?" Gardner asked.
"Unfortunately, yes," Saunders said.
According to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, 28-year-old Preston McCormick is familiar with the concoction. Deputies said they have had at least five run-ins with McCormick. However, his charges have been decidedly less that DUI, instead they were dropped to reckless driving, criminal mischief and disorderly intoxication.
First of all, he couldn't even open his car door. That was kind of a big deal." Deputies with the Sheriff’s Office encountered McCormick high on something, but couldn’t figure out what it was. That's because an alcohol breath test can't even detect it.
“He thought he was at Target at Argyle,” said Deputy Jacob Saunders with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. “He was actually at a neighborhood in Keystone Heights.”
But McCormick blew a .000 in a breath test.
"If Mr. McCormick had not told you he was robotripping, could you have figured it out?" Gardner asked.
"At that time, no," Saunders said.
Despite the symptoms of a blank stare, bloodshot watery eyes, moon-walking and mumbled slurred speech, McCormick avoided a DUI conviction despite that being his initial charge.
"How frightening should this be for the community?" Gardner asked.
"It should be very frightening," Saunders said.
Action News called McCormick for a comment. He did not call us back but his wife did. She said her husband is getting help and that she has found people do not take addictions to cold medicine as seriously as they should in the medical world.