What is Lean?

Everyone knows about the most common illegal drugs. Cocaine, ecstasy, crystal meth and more are very much in the public awareness, and many people know about the effects and dangers of these substances. But one drug you may not know anything about is Lean.

Lean, or Purple Drank, is not new, although it has gained popularity in recent years. It can be incredibly harmful to users and is highly addictive. Read on to learn more about Lean and its effect on the mind and body.

What is Lean?

Lean is a recreational drug that takes the form of a purple-colored beverage. It is created by mixing a strong prescription cough medicine, usually containing codeine and promethazine, with a soft drink such as Coke, Fanta, or Sprite. Although the drink can be any color, it is usually purple, as this is generally used by popular cough syrup brands. Other ingredients, such as hard candies, may also be added to enhance the flavor and mask the potency of the concoction.

What is Lean Used For?

Lean is generally used to produce a mild sense of euphoria. It is popular among teens and adults, particularly in social settings like house parties. Its sweeter flavor often makes it appealing to younger users.

Where Did Lean Come From?

Lean is believed to have originated in 1960s America when musicians would mix cold medicines with beer and other alcohol. Over the years, the practice was taken up by rappers, and the formula was tweaked to include common cough syrups and soft drinks. References by famous musicians have caused the popularity to spike in recent decades.

Is Lean Addictive?

Since Lean contains codeine, which is a Schedule 2 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, is classified as being highly addictive. Even casual recreational users may form a dependency over time, requiring treatment to wean themselves off the drug.

Is Lean Illegal?

The constituent components of Lean – prescription cough syrup and soft drinks – are not illegal to possess. A doctor can prescribe the medicine, and it is easy to obtain. Of course, anyone using prescription medicine without a prescription is acting illegally. This means if it is shared at a party, most drinkers will likely be acting against the law.

However, many formulations of Lean can be made with over-the-counter cough medicines that can be obtained in any pharmacy. These produce similar effects and eliminate the need for a doctor’s visit. 

The fact that Lean is not strictly illegal makes it difficult to police, and it continues to be an ongoing issue across the United States.

What are the Effects of Lean?

Lean has a range of effects, the primary one being a sense of euphoria that makes drinkers feel elated and relaxed. The name Lean derives from the fact that drinkers often slouch or have difficulty standing up when they are under the influence of the drug. The effects tend to kick in after about an hour, and usually only last between four and six hours.

What are the Side Effects of Lean?

Like most recreational drugs, Lean has a variety of health risks and potential side effects. These include but are not limited to:

  • Slowed heart rate and breathing
  • Seizures
  • Vivid dreams and hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Shaking
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Infertility
  • Organ damage
  • Dental decay

The risks and complications of using Lean are heightened according to how long a user has been taking the substance. Over time, the long-term implications can be dire and often lead to serious health considerations or even death.

Other Names for Lean

Although it is most commonly referred to as Lean or “purple drank,” it has a range of other names in popular usage. These include:

  • Sizzurp
  • Syrup
  • Purp
  • Drank
  • Barre
  • Purple Jelly
  • Wok, or Wock
  • Texas Tea
  • Memphis Mud
  • Dirty Sprite

Addiction Treatment at Peaks Recovery

If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction to the drug Lean, there are treatment options available to you. Taking charge of your health is essential before the situation progresses too far. Peaks Recovery is dedicated to facilitating long-term recovery and meaningful change. Get in touch now to find out how we can help.

Medical Disclaimer: Peaks Recovery Centers uses fact-based content about recovery treatment, addiction medicine, and behavioral health conditions to improve the quality of life for those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction or mental health disorders. This information is not intended to replace professional medical guidance, diagnosis, care, or treatment. This information should not be used as a substitute for advice from a qualified healthcare provider and/or your physician.