lean addiction

A Purple Menace: The Dangerous Effects and Potential for Abuse of Lean

If you’re a party animal, you’ve come across lean before. But did you know that lean is so popular that cartels are smuggling it across the border?

This is because lean is so addictive that getting addicted to it is not uncommon. Lean is so popular because it’s made from opioids. 

Despite the highly addictive nature of lean, it’s possible to overcome an addiction to it. All it takes is a lot of devotion and a strong support system.

If you suspect you or someone you love to be addicted to lean, you can learn to spot the signs and get help for your loved one. 

So read this guide carefully and learn how to recognize signs and free yourself from lean. 

What Is Lean? 

Originally, lean was a mixture of beer and cough syrup, popularized in the American south. But lean can’t be made with any cough syrup, it has to be prescription-strength cough syrup with codeine.  

Additionally, the recipe has changed since it was first invented. Now, lean is usually made from cough syrup, hard candy, and sprite. Sometimes, people will also add alcohol.

It’s purple in color because of the cough syrup. As such, other names for lean have included; purple drank, purple tonic, sizzurp, and dirty sprite. The drink is called lean because of another active ingredient in the cough syrup: promethazine. 

Promethazine is known to cause drowsiness and impaired motor function, which often causes users to cant over to one side, hence the name. 

Lean is also dangerous because there isn’t any standard for the drug. The exact potency varies depending on whoever made it. Some people may put more cough syrup than soda, or they may put more soda. 

This is dangerous because going to a party and drinking one cup of lean can have different effects depending on who drinks it, making it easy to overdose on more than one drink. 

How To Spot A Lean Addiction 

Because lean is an opioid, there is a lot of overlap between the symptoms of lean and traditional opioids. 

However, if someone is using lean, you need to familiarize yourself with the signs, which include:

  • Foam cups around the bedroom 
  • Fatigue and drowsiness 
  • A sharp drop in motivation 
  • Going to the bathroom often

If someone is addicted to lean long enough, they could start displaying even more dangerous signs like: 

  • Seizures 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Wheezing 
  • Night terrors, when a person doesn’t have a history of night terrors 
  • Confusion

Confusion can be of particular worry is you suspect your teenager has been abusing lean since confusion can make previously existing mental health problems worse, and cause their grades to decline. 

These symptoms are a result of the opioid effects on people’s brains. Opioids are depressants, which means they slow down the nervous system. In addition to the euphoria, this also changes the structure in the brain. 

These changes can cause a person’s neurons to misfire and cause confusion and hallucinations. If a person displays intermittent confusion, it’s time for them to get help as soon as possible, because symptoms will only get worse. 

What Does Lean Withdrawal Look Like?

Withdrawal happens after a prolonged period of use of some drug. This is because, after a while, the body builds up a tolerance, meaning they require more of the drug to achieve the same euphoria. 

However, once the body takes in a certain amount of drugs, it acclimates to the presence of the drug in the body. So, once the drug has been taken away the body thinks that something has gone wrong. 

If someone has experienced withdrawal, they are definitely addicted. 

The most typical signs of withdrawal are mood swings, irritability, and strong cravings from the drug they’re withdrawing from. 

The more specific signs of withdrawal include:

  • Flulike sickness like nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, chills, runny nose, sneezing and shakiness, and trembling. 
  • Mental health sicknesses like depression, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and difficulty concentrating. 
  • Other, rare symptoms may include hallucinations and seizures. 

Codeine also doesn’t stay inside a person’s system for very long. So withdrawal symptoms take effect after a short period of time. After 12-24 hours, withdrawal can kick in. 

If a person can make it past one week without lean, withdrawal should subside. However, this is much easier said than done. Withdrawal from anything is a painful experience. 

What’s more, taking lean even once during the process can cause withdrawal symptoms to stop. The pain will go away, but then they will have to restart the detoxing process. 

How To Support Someone On Lean 

Being supportive of someone on lean does not mean enabling their behavior. 

To be supportive of an addict means to be there emotionally for them.

It does not mean getting drugs for them or taking over their responsibilities. Always remember to put your needs first, and to take care of yourself. 

Once you do this, you also need to avoid judging them for their addiction, and not slipping into denial about their addiction. Don’t lecture them or try to guilt them into quitting. 

Do remind them that you love them and talk to them about getting help. When they’re ready, keep a good place in mind for them, and remind them that life is possible after addiction. 

Freedom From Lean Is Possible 

In any addiction, it may seem like there’s no hope and that life will just have to be like this forever. But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

Getting off of lean is difficult but doable. And it’s best to get off of it before the damage stops you from being able to have a normal life. 

If you’re ready, there are professionals who can help you turn your life around. 

About the Reviewer: Chris Barnes

Chris BarnesChristopher Barnes has worked in health care for over thirty years. He is a graduate of Alabama State University where he earned a double Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work and Psychology in 1982. Christopher Barnes is currently the Director of Clinical services at The Discovery House where he has been employed for the past five years. Because of his extensive experience in health care & substance abuse he has an excellent rapport with constituents, clients, and other professional organizations in the counseling/social service community.