This update, like several before it, does not stand alone. To truly understand the depth of the research and background it is important to have first read Update #26 Part 1. This Part 2 builds on the previous presentation of Trayvon Martin’s lifestyle choices and drug use connections.
This update is a creation of Treeper “Dedicated Dad“, who deserves full credit for investing numerous hours researching, learning, understanding and fitting the disconnected puzzle pieces together. What we outline here was right in front of our face the whole time. Yet we looked past it because we were in a position of ignorance about what we were looking at. We just didn’t know. Now however, it all comes together:
Several weeks ago, as further information and discovery came to the surface the whole framing of the original media narrative began to crumble, I stumbled over a reference to “DXM” in Trayvon’s Facebook history.
It’s nagged at me since, at various times popping to the front of my mind when Trayvon’s drug use was mentioned, was quickly lost to other distractions. A couple of evenings ago it again came to the forefront of consideration. This time I decided to dig in, do a little research, and see if there might actually be something to it.
What I found was frankly, quite stunning. So much so that it literally made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.
After further reflection this drug use aspect may actually lead to the greatest understanding, and key, to the whole case. Understanding exactly where the mindset was of both Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, and what influences are now readily available and out in the public forum, a number of questions are now finding answers about that evening’s events, most importantly what precipitated and led to Trayvon Martin’s approach toward being questioned by George Zimmerman.
So I suppose I should start by answering the obvious: “what in the heck is Dedicated Dad talking about”, and how would research answer questions about “intent”?
The substance of research was prodded by with this graphic of unknown attribution, dealing with the possibility that Trayvon Martin was not only an illegal drug-user, but possibly a drug-dealer. (Large file version here). While the “graphic” itself is unattributed, the content within the graphic was easy, at the time, to confirm with a quick review of Trayvon’s Facebook page and extensive work already done by the TreeHouse and multiple websites including Wagist.
Go ahead and review the whole thing, because while it most certainly is “controversial” it is also a good substantive fact-based background in Trayvon’s own words. But, again it is only background, and more information is needed for the rest of this discussion. We will highlight some sections of it, from Trayvon Martin’s own words, throughout this explanation because it speaks to a “directional sense” in the lifestyle of an evolving teenager.
As I use these Facebook discussions from Trayvon I’m going to correct the ebonics unless it seems necessary to reference directly to the source. Otherwise I’ll do my best to interpret it into something people unfamiliar with nuance within a “cultural language” can understand.
Let’s begin about mid-way down the page on the left-hand side, where Martin says:
“unow a connect for codine” or
“do you know of a connection for codeine”?
Trayvon is seeking a source for the prescription drug Codeine. Eventually we learn that he’s not seeking the pill form, but rather a “liquid” form, which he says he’s “had…before.”
His friend responds that he doesn’t NEED codeine – that he can just mix Robitussin and soda to make…
“…some fire @$$ lean.”
Our first question then becomes “What exactly is “lean””?
WHAT IS “LEAN” ?
According to Urban Dictionary, “Lean” is described as follows:
“… 6. Lean is a mixed drink originating in the Southern Rap culture. It is a mixture of Promethazine and Codeine cough syrup and a soft drink such as Sprite (usually). While other soft drinks may be used, Sprite was the original.
There are some variations of Lean. For example, Promethazine and Codeine syrup is usually Purple in color. But there are other colors of syrup that work the same way. There is a golden-colored syrup (hydrocodone based) and other colors as well.
Lean slows you down. It makes you feel good. It’s meant to be sipped on, and it taste damn good. One of the best feelings you will ever experience. Euphoria with a hint of sedation. …”
Lean is also the drug mixture that killed Pimp C. nigga pimp c died on an overdose of lean (urban dictionary descriptive)
OK, so now we know Trayvon is seeking a source for a powerful cough syrup, commonly used in the “drug culture or circle” to make an intoxicating drink called “Lean” – also known as the infamous “purple drank/Purple Lean/Lean/Sizzurp.”
Purple Lean, or Lean, is an intoxicating beverage also known by the names lean, sizzurp, and liquid codeine. It is commonly abused by southern rappers and wannabe suburban teenagers. It is a mixture of Promethazine/Codeine cough syrup and sprite, or other beverage [such as Arizona Watermelon] with a few jolly ranchers and/or skittles thrown in.
There are your “DXM” “Watermelon Lean” Ingredients
Arizona Watermelon Juice purchased from 7-11 included in the Crime Scene Photographs and incorrectly listed/discussed as “Tea” by Benjamin Crump, the media, and even police reporting authorities.
Promethazine with codeine, consumed in such large amounts as is popular with such southern rappers as lil wayne, slim thug, and Big Moe, produces an opiate-like high that is potentiated by the Promethazine.
Promethazine by itself will not produce a high. The beverage must be sipped slowly, and not guzzled, in order to avoid unconsciousness and/or life threatening overdose.
But what does this have to do with Robitussin or “DXM”? Trayvon clarifies in his next message:
“codine is a higher dose of dxm”
As the conversation continues, Trayvon indicates that he plans to quit smoking marijuana because he doesn’t want to risk being busted or “roped”, because it is discoverable in drug testing, and possession of Marijuana is illegal….. (Obviously he never did actually quit)
….. and further believes he can obtain the same high by drinking “Lean” . But that’s not nearly as important as the fact that he’s clearly under the impression that prescription Codine is a stronger form of the drug DXM found in various versions of cough suppressant or cough medications.
So, what then exactly is “DXM“?
“DXM” is an abbreviation for the cough suppressant Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide — which is the active ingredient in the cough-syrup brand Robitussin.
According to numerous websites found with a search, DXM is increasingly being abused as a recreational drug. One of the more scholarly and scientific sites found with in-depth analysis of DXM and its various uses is “Erowid.org“. According to its “FAQ”, Erowid is:
“…a small non-commercial organization that operates in the controversial and politically challenging niche of trying to provide accurate, specific, and responsible information about how psychoactives are used in the United States and around the world. We are committed to protecting the privacy of contributors and reporting on the topic non-judgmentally. Although our primary focus is on the Erowid.org web site, we also provide research and data for other harm reduction, health, and educational organizations.”
In short, it’s a site filled with information on various forms of drug abuse, mostly to enable the abusers to do so with as little risk as possible. It is not within the scope of this discussion to make any value judgements about this fact so we’ll continue our discussion – considering Erowid a valuable resource for our research and typical of the sort of information someone can easily locate on today’s Internet.
According to Erowid’s “DXM Home Page“:
DXM is a widely available over-the-counter cough suppressant. When taken far above its standard medical dosage, it is a strong dissociative used primarily by teens.
Their “DXM Basics” page further makes clear that it is:
“…a semisynthetic opiate derivative which is legally available over-the-counter in the United States. It is most commonly found in cough suppressants, especially those with “DM” or “Tuss” in their names. It is almost always used orally, although pure DXM powder is occasionally snorted…“
At this point you’re probably thinking – as I did at first – “how bad can this stuff be if it’s available over the counter!” However, as we’ll see, it’s actually startlingly dangerous stuff!
Erowid begins to hint at DXM’s seriousness in their “DXM Basics” discussion:
This stuff is compared to PCP ? This is no exaggeration! DXM in higher doses is actually a very volatile and dangerous drug, and they are quite right when they compare DXM to PCP and Ketamine!
In fact, the drug has come to be known in some circles as “Poor-Man’s PCP!”
Perhaps more importantly, unlike marijuana and many other drugs of abuse, DXM does not cause sedation, and in fact can produce profound agitation hence the comparison to PCP. In the “DXM Basics – Problems” section, Erowid notes:
“…DXM causes physical and psychological effects that may be frightening or unpleasant… Psychological effects can include profound disorientation, depression, a feeling of personal disintegration, or a feeling of “unreality” and disconnection that may persist for days. Chronic use may cause depression, psychological dependency, and possibly brain damage. Large doses may be associated with psychotic breaks…”
It was at this point that I first noted the feeling of the hair standing up on the back of my neck – but this sensation would become much more common and pronounced as I continued reading and gaining understanding.
One of the best sources I’ve found for DXM info is Erowid.org’s “DXM Vault.” One article in particular was especially helpful – “The DXM FAQ by William E. White – Version 4“, published at the previously linked site Erowid.org.
This document is, to be blunt, written for “recreational users” of DXM – those who will use it “to get high.” I will refer to “recreational use” by its proper term: Abuse.
In the document’s “Introduction”, the author notes that as the number of people abusing DXM has grown since he published the first version of his FAQ, so to the number of adverse effects and problems has also grown:
“… A few people, on the other hand, seem to be greatly susceptible to DXM addiction and some of these have suffered long-term health consequences. A very few may have suffered permanent brain damage from extremely heavy use of DXM (e.g., an 8oz bottle of Maximum Strength syrup every day). On the other hand, some people consume the same amount for years seemingly without consequence. And while some people can consume DXM regularly without psychological consequences, others suffer from severe depression and psychotic breaks, even leading to a few cases of suicide attempts…”
Perhaps with the understanding that Trayvon used “Lean” to get high the Medical Examiners notes in the autopsy of Trayvon’s brain cultures now have a new light shed upon them.
For these reasons, the author points out, “as of the time of his writing (coincidentally in 1995, the year Trayvon was born!) there just wasn’t any significant quantity of medical research into the long-term effects of DXM abuse, which he hopes (unsuccessfully, as it turns out) will be resolved in the following years, and notes “…Until then, my official recommendation is not to use DXM at all!“
Of course he knows people will not stop using, so he goes on to express his “own personal belief that DXM is probably pretty safe when used occasionally (e.g., once or twice a month) at the lower plateaus, and rarely (e.g., once or twice a year) at the higher plateaus.”
Mr. White then gives hints at the otherwise unclear “data” he’s gathered by saying “I have yet to hear from anyone who used DXM with this or less frequency who has suffered any impairment, temporary or permanent. Actually, to be technically correct, nobody using it once a week for less than six months has ever seemed to have problems, but it’s always best to keep a wide safety margin…”
Unfortunately, teenage boys, especially those from within Trayvon’s cultural demographic, are not known for their temperance, much less “keep[ing] a wide safety margin.“
To the contrary, it’s likely that a young man like Trayvon would consider Robitussin an easily obtained standby for times when marijuana was unavailable. In his own words he has already expressed his opinion that it gives him “the same vibe” – and he is in fact likely to PREFER the DXM as it’s less likely to get him “roped” (busted).
Subsequently a rational framing would be the odds of him limiting his use to “once a week for less than six months” is highly unlikely. We know from his own words to his friends that Trayvon has used DXM as far back as June 2011.
Even more troubling, the author goes on to note:
“Another thing to keep in mind is that DXM in the upper plateaus is a considerably different experience than the lower plateaus, and may be better suited to spiritual or ritual use. Even at the lower plateaus, DXM is not really well suited as a frequent recreational drug
… In summary, I’m not nearly as convinced that DXM is a benevolent psychedelic as I used to be. It is in many ways considerably more powerful (and certainly more dangerous) than LSD or mushrooms. Like all psychedelics it can profoundly change you; unlike others, these changes are not necessarily under your control, especially if you are not very familiar with yourself.
I don’t think there are too many people less “familiar with themselves” than teenagers whose sense of “self” is still highly formative. The concern from this discovery was growing quickly, but this next section really took the feeling of concern to entirely new heights:
DXM can be a great tool for spiritual rebirth, but it can also turn you into a paranoid, antisocial asshole… It is a unique and uniquely powerful mind-altering drug, and one which I think most people would do best to avoid. “
In short, the “drug-user world’s” foremost “expert” on DXM abuse is clearly advising against regular, chronic use for some very good reasons. But if a teenager like Trayvon were even aware of such a recommendation what degree of confidence would there be that the would actually heed it? Remember, this is a young man who thinks “codeine is a higher dose of DXM” and is actively seeking to find it.
Therefore, the odds of him accidentally and naively stumbling into enough of a habit to render himself “A paranoid, antisocial asshole“, in the words of Mr. White, are probably quite high.
But… Let’s read on!
Physiology of DXM / Lean Use
We know from Trayvon’s own words that he’s experienced “lean” – and since he knows what DXM is – but thinks the promethazine/codeine cocktail is “a higher dose” then he’s also experienced DXM, at least at a “lower plateau.”
In answer to the question “What’s the DXM Trip Like” the author says:
“Well, that depends on how much you take. There are four different kinds of experiences, based on the dosage; these are called plateaus.
The first plateau is a mild stimulant effect with a little bit of a buzz, and has been compared to MDA [a more psychedelic cousin of MDMA -aka-“Ecstasy”].
The second plateau is more intoxicating and has been compared to being drunk and stoned at the same time.
The third plateau is dissociative, like a lower dose of ketamine.
The fourth plateau is fully dissociative like a higher dose of ketamine.
You should not [emphasis original!] attempt higher plateau doses unless you have someone with you who can take care of you in case you get sick or freak out. It happens on DXM.
Many things can happen unexpectedly on upper plateaus, such as spontaneous memory recall, complex delusions, hallucinations, out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, and perceived contact with spiritual or alien entities. You need to be pretty stable and grounded before you can handle these things“.
“Stable and grounded” would not describe the behavioral or social pattern of Trayvon Martin who was moved from house to house, parent to parent, and surrounded by a litany of on-again, off-again, relationships from his parent’s partners. Could a “complex delusion” or “hallucination” perhaps elicit a paranoia “tracked” by George Zimmerman?
One thing is sure – young Trayvon was CLEARLY ANYTHING BUT “STABLE AND GROUNDED” in both his physical and emotional address.
In another section – “Is DXM Dangerous” – the Author again makes note of the possibility of “bad trips…psychotic breaks…psychological addiction and depression and irreversible brain damage“.
To repeat the obvious, THIS IS VERY VOLATILE, DANGEROUS STUFF especially in the hands of an impulsive, cognitively immature, and adolescent minded individual like 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
One of the problems with DXM is that with long-term or regular use “most of the pleasurable effects of DXM tend to go away … Tolerance can build rapidly, leaving one only with a general sensation of being high and stupid.“
In young and impulsive individuals, this can lead the person to take higher doses, looking for the same “vibe“, and thus accidentally lead the individual to find themselves on a much higher “plateau” than they intended.
Lacking both the knowledge and experience to understand what is happening to them, and the skills or assistance needed to deal with the “surprise” effects, an ungrounded teen can suddenly find themselves in a dangerous – even potentially fatal – situation!
The “FAQ” lists the following “Risks” (among others):
- “Major Risks of Occasional Use:
- Panic Attacks
- Psychotic Breaks
- Impaired Judgement in Critical Situations (!!)
- “Risks of Regular Use and Binges:
- Violent Ideations, Antisocial Behavior and Paranoia
- Habituation and Psychological Addiction
- Tolerance and Physical Addiction
- Liver, Kidney and Pancreas Damage“
At this point it is highly important to remember, or refer to, the coroners report about Trayvon’s Liver? (a screen grab is below)
In addition to the risks of DXM itself, many DXM-containing products contain other active ingredients that can be dangerous. Common additives include acetaminophen (Tylenol), which can cause fatal liver-damage in large doses. Products containing Chlorpheniramine Maleate such as Coricidin Cough and Cold should especially be avoided. See DXM Health for more information.
When you take acetaminophen, [such as would be used in making Purple/Watermelon Lean] your liver breaks it down into a substance called N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine, or NAPQI, which is toxic to your liver […] Your liver contains an antioxidant called glutathione that can keep NAPQI from causing damage, but too much acetaminophen reduces glutathione and leaves your liver open to harm […] acetaminophen only causes liver damage if you take more than your body can handle.
These post-mortem symptoms of DXM use would also mask themselves as a variety of causes for ‘mild fatty metamorphosis of the liver’ if you were not specifically knowledgable of the subject’s history. Obviously in this example neither Tracy Martin, nor Sybrina Fulton would be informing the Medical Examiner of prior drug use.
We can confirm from his Facebook and Twitter Accounts that Trayvon had essentially been “sippin sippin” (using Lean or DXM) for at least a year, perhaps longer. It would appear from the Medical Examiners report Trayvon’s liver was showing the early indicators of excessive use consistent with such a timeframe.
Psychology of DXM Use
In the FAQ’s section on “Psychotic Breaks” the author notes:
“…Be very careful in trying to restrain the tripper, since she or he may perceive this as a threat, and will probably be mostly immune to pain...the tripper, like a cornered animal, could beat the living shit out of you without thinking twice. (!!) …”
So, where does all of this lead? At this point, after reviewing all the information, it appears quite probable that a pattern of drug cocktail use specifically led to the mindset, or psychological environment, between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin on the night of February 26th.
The tone or hostility of the encounter, and Trayvon’s response to being confronted, would more easily be understood against the backdrop of the discovery for his prior drug use; and more specifically the types of drugs being used.
It is quite possible that Trayvon Martin – experiencing the tolerance effects caused by chronic use of DXM – potentially took a larger dose of DXM than he’d had before, or at the very least was recently indulging himself in an admitted actitity. Maybe even suffered a “psychotic break”, but at least the behavioral paranoia and psychological stress consistent with the use of long-term DXM use might have to a physical and psychological reaction to questions by George Zimmerman, and ultimately to his aggressive response.
Trayvon would not necessarily have needed to be under the “immediate influence” of the “trip” at the time (Robotrippin’), he could just as easily have been preparing for his next “trip” while still holding the long-lasting effects from prior use. The timing of prior use may contribute to his emotional state, or the cumulative effect could have been a contributing factor. Both are just as potentially dangerous.
If however, Martin was in the midst of a stress induced “psychotic break”, or under duress exacerbated by George Zimmerman’s “eyeballing him“, well, then, there’s really nothing George Zimmerman could have done once the confrontation began. Any confrontation at all could have led to the same outcome.
The FAQ advises a “Tripper’s” “Safety Person” to:
“…Instead of restraint, try talking him or her down. Be calm, soothing, and repeatedly remind the tripper that they have taken a drug which has critically impaired their perceptions. Remind them of who they are and how they got here, and that the experience will end…”
That sounds great, on paper, – except for the fact that George Zimmerman had no idea Trayvon Martin was potentially “Robo-tripping“, and it’s rather difficult to “be calm, soothing” and so on when the “tripper” has already snapped and is busy “beat[ing] the snot out of you without thinking twice!!“
We know from Trayvon himself that last summer, between the school years, in or around June 2011, Trayvon was engaged in DXM/Lean and Marijuana use. We also know there are multiple behavioral side effects from DSM/Lean use. Those side effects and impacts on cognitive judgement increase with prolonged exposure. The more you use, the worse the psychological affects are.
Now consider this in the developing physiology of a teen in the full hormone raging puberty phase of 15/16/17 years of age and you can magnify those psychological and physiological effects exponentially.
Hormones = Sex = Teenage boy normal.
Hormones + psychotic psychological addiction from DXM/Lean drug effects = Super Aggressive Sexual Thoughts, actions, expressions. Teenage boy NOT normal.
It would be intellectually dishonest to frame as coincidental or disconnected that he apparently started seriously engaging in the DXM/Lean/Pot culture in the summer break of 2011 ; and then was suspended from school three times for behavioral issues in the very next school year. A rapid downward progression would be an inevitable outcome from frequent use of DXM and Marijuana.
Trayvon also subscribed to the U-Tube feeds of drug use, drug culture, street violence and activities in this same Summer between school years. Not accidentally in the same timeframe he gained significant interest in MMA style street fighting. This is not at all just random coincidence. As we have meticulously outlined aggressive anti-social behavior is a specific, frequent, and documented side effect from DXM/Lean use.
Trayvon was admittedly, according to his Facebook conversations, a user of DXM and Purple Drank/Lean since at least June 2011. He was also an admitted smoker of Marijuana which was found in both his urine and blood tests. His liver indicates the beginning stages of an unusual degrading known as “mild fatty metamorphasis”, and his brain tissue appeared compromised, both conditions symptomatic of DXM use.
In addition he was suspended from school three times in the past seven months prior to the shooting for behavioral issues. He was detached from adult supervision at the time in question, in a relatively unfamiliar place, and according to his father Tracy Martin, grounded. His girlfriend describes their phone call as Trayvon being “paranoid”.
Trayvon makes a trip to the store and buys two of the specific three ingredients needed to blend a drug cocktail he was well versed in making (Lean). And appeared slightly exagerrated, tenuous, and wobbly (swaying) when you objectively review his physical movements on the video of the store during the purchase.
He was a little more than a half a mile from home (Brandy’s house), yet he left the store at 6:24 and was first noted at the clubhouse at 7:09pm. If he intended to go straight home from the store, and under normal cognitive capacity, he should have made the 1/2 mile trip in well under 30 minutes, well under.
The facts, and new understanding, as it now presents itself, would certainly lend weight to the strong possibility that Trayvon Martin was motor impaired, or at least influenced, by some altering condition. At the very least this bears considerable merit for further inquiry, and a serious toxicological analysis for an understanding of exactly what metabolic influences may have been in place at the time of the encounter between George and Trayvon.
The toxicology review should specifically look for trace evidence and levels of DXM agents in his system. Both to understand if he was robotrippin’ at the immediate time of encounter, as well as if longer term use created a cumulative effect, and was a contributing factor in his physiology or state of mind. One such well known, and well documented side-effect is “anger”, or, “violent temperment”.
- 7-11 Store Check out time 6:24pm – Shooting 7:17pm
- 53 minutes from the time Trayvon left the store to when he was shot.
- 53 minutes to travel .60/mile
Zimmerman: Hey we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there’s a real suspicious guy, uh, [near] Retreat View Circle, um, the best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle. This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
By Dedicated Dad – Now knowing all of this information, take a closer look at the new discovery for what REALLY happened at the 7-11 on the night in Question. This too, opens eyes to a FAR GREATER UNDERSTANDING.