“Lean” and the Risks of Codeine Abuse

Understanding the Dangers of “Lean” and Other Forms of Codeine 

Lean is one of the street names for a legal and highly addictive cocktail that’s made from codeine cough syrup.  The name Lean comes from the sedative effects of the drug which causes people to slouch or lean.  Lean is surprisingly popular and has contributed to the drug abuse problem the nation is currently experiencing. With opioid addiction on the rise, there needs to be education on the dangers of misusing this drug. Understanding what the substance is, its effects, and the risks and repercussions of Lean can help those confronted with temptation and make more informed decisions.

What Is Lean?

Lean, often referred to as ‘Sizzurp,’ ‘Texas Tea,’ and ‘Purple Drank,’ is a beverage that can be prepared by combining a series of easily obtained ingredients or substances. The substance is a homemade concoction of soda, codeine cough syrup, and hard candy like Jolly Ranchers. The mixture was first introduced in Houston, Texas, and was widely used throughout the hip-hop scene. Lean gained popularity for its ease of procurement and its euphoric effects.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today at 877.969.1993 to learn how we can help. 

What Is Codeine?

Codeine is a mild opiate used for people who are experiencing mild to moderate pain.  Codeine can come in various forms, from prescription tablets to over-the-counter cough syrup. Codeine abuse and misuse can be highly habit-forming, and this narcotic should only be taken as directed. If abused, codeine can become life-threatening, especially when combined with other substances such as alcohol, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. Drug combinations can have serious adverse effects and take a massive toll on your body, possibly landing you in the ER.  

Effects of Lean 

The substance got its name from its effects on the individual when they are under the influence. When an individual consumes ‘lean,’ they tend to slouch and lean, and the results become present between 30 and 45 minutes after sipping the beverage.  

Some of the additional effects of Lean include: 

  • Lowered heart rate 
  • Seizures  
  • Distorted and impaired vision 
  • Weight gain 
  • Dizziness 
  • Teeth decay 
  • Constipation  
  • UTI (urinary tract infection) 

Once consumed, the effects of Lean can last up to six hours where the individual will feel its euphoric effects which can ultimately lead to addiction. 

Dangers of Using Lean 

There are imminent dangers of using Lean, and its hazards put individuals’ lives in jeopardy each time they abuse this substance. Since the body builds up a tolerance to the substance with repeated use, the body becomes gradually unable to produce natural opioids on its own. This is where the addiction begins, as the body and brain rely on a steady dose of opioids to mitigate the onset of withdrawal.  

Other Abused Cough Syrups (DXM) 

There are a host of cough syrup-like concoctions that can have euphoric effects when consumed. Codeine cough syrup is not always the go-to as other substances can provide the same results and are also readily available over-the-counter. Dextromethorphan, also known as DXM, is a medication that is often used to suppress an everyday cough. It has both stimulant and sedative properties making it a dangerous medication to experience and mix with. DXM is a drinkable substance that responds to receptors in the brain that are responsible for hallucinogenic effects. When consumed, individuals can experience an ‘out of body’ episode, similar to ketamine or other hallucinogens.  

Who Is at Risk of Developing Codeine Addiction? 

Those who abuse codeine and don’t take it as prescribed are at a much higher risk of developing an addiction than those who take it on a doctor-ordered basis. Those who have a history of substance abuse or those who have an underlying mental health disorder are also at a higher risk of addiction. 

Often, individuals will abuse substances to suppress and mitigate any side effects of an undiagnosed and untreated disorder. Teens and youth are the most susceptible age group to the vulnerability of Lean. Parents are encouraged to speak with their kids on the risks and dangers of experimenting with intoxicating substances in general and codeine abuse in particular because it can lead to opioid addiction.  

Treatment for Codeine Addiction and Other Opioids
at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab

WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab offers a full continuum of treatment options and can help those struggling with codeine or opioid addiction. Through counseling, treatment, therapy, drug rehab, and medically assisted treatment (MAT), individuals can get the help they need to make a full and lasting recovery. The longer you wait to receive opioid rehab, the worse your addiction will get. The key to recovery is getting help as soon as you realize there is a problem. Please contact our staff or visit one of our many facilities located throughout Florida.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

Jackie has been involved in the substance abuse and addiction treatment sector for over five years and this is something that she is truly eager about. She has a passion for writing and continuously works to create informative pieces that not only educate and inform the public about the disease of addiction but also provide solutions for those who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.