2 Chainz Sentenced To Drug Diversion Program, Receives Sobriety Bracelet

By McCarton Ackerman 05/07/14

The long-troubled rapper was given a second chance by a Los Angeles judge who encouraged him to maintain a positive attitude while trying to achieve sobriety.

2 chainz.jpg
2 Chainz in 2013. Shutterstock

Rapper 2 Chainz managed to avoid a potential three-year prison term on drug possession charges and was instead sentenced by a judge to an 18-month drug diversion program.

2 Chainz, whose real name is Tauheed Epps, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance. He was arrested last June at LAX when airport officials found ingredients for sizzurp in his checked baggage. In exchange for his guilty plea, the felony drug possession charge was dropped and the misdemeanor change will be removed from his record if he successfully completes the program.

Afterwards, Judge Keith Schwartz gave 2 Chainz, 36, a sobriety bracelet that said “Stay Clean and Sober,” a gesture that apparently moved the rapper. “I think it’s all important for people in the entertainment industry to give a positive attitude,” said Schwartz.

Luckily for 2 Chainz, the prescription cough syrup used in sizzurp has been pulled from the market. Pharmaceutical company Actavis hinted that the glorified use of the drug in hip-hop culture prompted them to remove it from the shelves. Several rappers, including Soulja Boy, have posted photos of the Actavis bottles on their Instagram accounts, often referring to it as “purple drank” or “lean,” while Justin Bieber also reportedly uses the drug. A bottle of the cough syrup sold for $800 on the black market when it was legal and that number is only expected to increase.

Sizzurp is a combination of prescription cough syrup, hard candy, and sugary soft drinks, with a single serving containing more than 25 times the recommended dose of codeine. "This is a very dangerous drug. It can lead to seizures and essentially lead you to stop breathing,” said Dr. Robert Glatter of Lenox Hill Hospital. “The sweetness of the soda and candy combined with the drug itself make people want to have this all day long. They just don’t know how much they’ve had throughout the day and by the end, it’s almost too late.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.