What is Lean? Understanding Lean Addiction and Abuse

Whether someone refers to it as lean, purple drank, or sizzurp, the lean drug is a highly addictive and dangerous party drug that has been growing in popularity in recent years. With effects similar to those produced by robotripping, lean users may lose coordination, be confused, and feel intense euphoria while under the influence.

Like other opioid-containing drugs, someone who abuses lean repeatedly may become addicted to it. In cases such as these, it’s best to get professional help from a West Palm Beach drug rehab center.

What is Lean?

Lean is the term used to describe a drink made from codeine/promethazine cough syrup, soda (usually sprite), and hard candy. Also known as Purple Drank or Sizzurp, lean is popular among partygoers and people who abuse opioids. It has been made increasingly popular in the last 20 years due to the drink’s popularity in pop culture and rap music.[1]

Because it contains an opioid, lean can be considered a central nervous system depressant. Promethazine, an antihistamine, may cause hallucinations or altered states of consciousness in high doses. As a result, the drink may cause people to become tired, sluggish, or fall asleep, causing them to slouch or lean to one side, hence the name of the drink.[2][3]

Codeine is similar to morphine and it is one of the weaker prescription opioids. Even though it is far weaker than drugs like oxycodone or Dilaudid, codeine is still highly addictive and harmful to the body when abused.

Side Effects of Lean Abuse

Lean produces similar effects as other opioids like oxycodone and morphine. Depending on whether a person drinks the substance on an empty stomach or not, the effects usually begin to kick in after 30-45 minutes. The effects will peak after one hour and begin to fade away after 4-6 hours.

It is very common for people to mix the lean drink with alcohol. Doing so can increase the risk of respiratory depression and overdose.

People who drink Lean may experience the following opioid side effects:[2]

  • Relaxation and sleepiness
  • An altered state of consciousness
  • Hallucinations
  • Poor judgment
  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Slowed heart rate and breathing
  • Impaired vision
  • Memory loss
  • Itchy skin
  • Constipation

In high doses, lean, or purple drank, can have potentially fatal consequences. Drinking too much can flood the brain with opioid molecules too quickly and lead to an overdose. In the event of an opioid overdose, a person may become unconscious, stop breathing, and make gurgling noises.

If the person remains unconscious for more than 6 minutes, he or she could sustain brain damage from a lack of oxygen, go into a coma, and die.

Can You Get Addicted to Purple Drank?

Due to lean’s popularity in the media, many people underestimate the dangers and addictive nature of drinking purple drank. After all, endless celebrities such as Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Justin Bieber, Future, and more have been seen sipping lean in their music videos or writing music about it.

With that said, just because something is popularized in the media doesn’t mean it is safe. In fact, people who abuse lean may develop a tolerance to codeine. When this happens they will have to take a higher dose of opioids to feel the same effects. If a person continues abusing opioids, he or she will become physically dependent on them.

Once physically dependent, the body needs to have opioids in the system to prevent it from going into withdrawal. If someone has developed a tolerance and dependence on codeine, they are well on their way to an addiction.

Signs of Lean Addiction

People who are addicted to lean will experience the same symptoms as people who are addicted to other prescription or illicit opioids. These symptoms include:

  • Isolating from friends and family and lying about substance use
  • Mixing lean with alcohol or other opioids
  • Becoming physically dependent on lean and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug
  • Experiencing drug cravings
  • Continuing to use drugs despite worsening problems at home, school, work, or with one’s health
  • Going from one doctor to the next to try and obtain multiple prescriptions
  • Trying to stop using opioids but being unable to do so

People who are addicted to lean or codeine cough syrup can get help from a West Palm Beach drug rehab center.

Treatment for Lean Addiction

The first step in treating lean addiction involves medically-assisted detox. The opioids in lean can produce painful withdrawal symptoms, such as sweating, body aches, pains, nausea, and other flu-like symptoms. This makes quitting lean particularly difficult.[4]

Fortunately, medical detox centers can administer FDA-approved treatment medications like Suboxone or buprenorphine to help taper people off opioids gradually. Detox will also involve 24/7 clinical supervision and support.

After detox, patients will move onto a comprehensive treatment program that involves behavioral therapy, counseling, and peer support. Rehab may last anywhere from 30-90 days and may be followed up with outpatient rehab or sober living.

Addiction treatment centers can also treat co-occurring disorders like depression or anxiety that may co-exist with an addiction. By combining mental health treatment, addiction rehab, and peer support, patients can obtain a full recovery.

Find Help Today

Sipping lean may be glamorized in pop culture, however, there is nothing pretty about addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid addiction and ready to begin a new way of life, pick up the phone and call now to learn about our West Palm Beach drug rehab programs.

References:

  1. https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/what-lean
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a601005.html
  3. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/d00787a1
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526012/

Medically Reviewed: February 22, 2021

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer | CWC Recovery Staff

Clinical Team

About

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Content on this page has been reviewed by CWC Medical Staff for accuracy.


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

WE'RE READY TO HELP YOU BEGIN A NEW LIFE