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Lean is a Dangerous Drug

Lean is a Dangerous Drug Resurgence - An image of the prescription medication that has a new fad of "sipping lean" that can lead to severe health consequences and addiction.

What is Lean?

Lean is the street name of a drink that is made with cough syrup, soda, and, in some cases, hard candy. The cough syrup that is used generally contains codeine, which can become addictive. Sometimes, the cough syrup can contain promethazine. Promethazine is a medication that is used for nausea and allergies.

Both codeine and promethazine affect the brain and the areas that regulate breathing. Lean is generally made by the glassful and sipped to get high. It can be extremely addictive and difficult to stop sipping lean.

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Purple Drank, Sizzurp, Texas Tea, and Purple Tonic

Lean is also known as Purple Drank, Sizzurp, Texas Tea, and Purple Tonic. It has been popularized in certain music cultures and is referenced in multiple songs and on social media by various artists. Several deaths of hip-hop artists have been attributed to sipping lean.

As the effects of the drink start to appear, the users have been known to lean over, hence the name sipping lean. Variations to the combination of codeine and promethazine exist. Other cough syrups are also used and alcohol is often added to the drink.

The preferred method of sipping lean is in a styrofoam cup. The use of lean gained popularity to a greater extent in the 1990s due to its frequent use and abuse by musicians.

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Understanding Lean Addiction

Users of lean can develop a tolerance to the drink and underestimate its addiction potential. Since the drink is made by mixing the contents, sometimes one drink can contain different amounts of codeine each time it is mixed. This also increases the risk of overdose.

The drink can appear purple due to the cough syrup or the addition of hard candy. The codeine in the cough syrup is closely related to morphine. The cough syrup alone does not have a pleasant taste, which helps decrease potential addiction. By mixing it with other liquids, the unpleasant taste is avoided, but the potential for addiction is increased.

Lean addiction affects every person differently. The following are some general signs and symptoms:

  • Erratic behavior
  • Seizures
  • Tiredness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of coordination
  • Itchy skin
  • Foggy mental state

If you are using lean regularly, your body quickly becomes dependent on the opiate. This can explain why you may feel terrible if you decrease your lean use. Developing tolerance is one of the first signs of addiction.

Your brain has been reset to expect the opiate regularly and becomes regulated to that supply. When that is decreased, your body begins to experience withdrawal quickly and is signaling for more supply of the opiate. This is the cycle of addiction to an opiate.

Effects of Lean Abuse

Regular use of lean is extremely dangerous. Over time, tolerance develops, which leads you to consume larger amounts to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Increasing the amount pushes the user closer to overdose to avoid withdrawal. With the amount of lean varying in each drink, an overdose is an easy, unintended consequence of use.

Depending on the type of cough syrup used, most users end up ingesting large amounts of acetaminophen (Tylenol). When lean is sipped, the total amount of cough syrup that is consumed ends up being significantly higher than a regular dose, which results in high amounts of acetaminophen begin ingested. Liver damage has been reported because of the ongoing use of lean.

Lean is Dangerous

Lean is especially dangerous because of the effects of combining multiple products that impact heart function, regulation of breathing, and the central nervous system. Both promethazine and codeine affect the heart, lungs, and brain. If these are further combined with alcohol, the effects are much riskier.

Lean has been known to cause permanent brain damage with ongoing use. Seizure disorders have also been reported with continued lean use. The craving for lean is a significant sign of addiction. In between uses, the user can start to feel the early signs of withdrawal.

Withdrawal of lean can look like irritable behavior, sweating, stomach cramps, diarrhea, feeling anxious with the need to move around, and issues with sleep. Lean addiction can make you feel like you think about it all the time, constantly making sure you have access to lean, and drinking it to feel “normal.” Even if the use of lean causes problems in your life, and you keep using it anyway, that is a sign that you need help to stop using lean.

Mental Illness and Lean

Lean contains codeine. Codeine is an opiate that is closely related to morphine and in the same category as oxycodone. The use of opiates is higher in people with a mental illness. In many people, using lean can be a form of self-medicating to treat an underlying issue. Rather than getting professional help for a corresponding problem, you may have tried lean to cope with challenges.

Treating both at the same time has been proven to be more effective than treating each individual. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we look for all causes of addiction and any underlying mental health issues. Improving coping skills and anxiety will give you new tools for recovery and stability.

Addiction is a universal problem. Even if things seem fine to outside observers, addiction can still be present. It happens in all families and all social and financial situations. Sipping lean has been popularized, however, it is an extremely dangerous practice. Continuing to use lean is a sign that the user may be attempting to solve another problem.

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we are familiar with opiate addiction and the complicated mental health issues that may also be present. We are here to help unravel the confusing picture of addiction and untreated mental health issues.

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Treatment of Lean Addiction

If you or a loved one is suffering from lean addiction, we are here to help. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we use an integrated approach to help our patients heal and recover. Recovering from the effects of lean use is not a short process, but it is possible.

Simply stopping the use of lean is not recovery. Learning about addiction, treating any underlying issues, and building coping mechanisms other than drug use are learned behaviors that are taught and supported at Resurgence Behavioral Health. We will work with you to determine your individual goals of treatment and customize treatment to your needs.

Lean addiction requires a team approach, including safe medical detox, counseling, therapy, and inpatient treatment with a transition to outpatient treatment. We are here to walk through this process with you. Even if the situation appears hopeless or there is resistance to change, treatment can still be effective.

Once the fog of addiction and medical detox clear, many are happy to receive treatment. Are you tired? Tired of bad news, tired of lies, and tired of the process of keeping addiction going? We can help.

Payment Information

Do you want treatment but are worried about how you can pay for it? We have a team of financial professionals who provide free insurance verification. We will work with you to determine how to move forward with the treatment in a way that works for you and your financial situation.

How to Get Help

Resurgence Behavioral Health is available to answer questions or discuss options with you. We have a team of professionals who are dedicated to understanding and healing from addiction. We give hope back to those who are searching for recovery and stability.

Does your Insurance Cover Rehab?

At Resurgence, we accept most PPO insurance. Verify your insurance now.