Adding cough syrup to a drink turns it into lean, also known as purple drink, purple drank or syrup. Cough medicine contains codeine, which gets broken down into morphine once it reaches the liver. Like any opioid, codeine is highly addictive due to its ability to relieve pain and provide a sense of euphoria. People drink lean at parties because it tastes good and helps them relax, but the codeine in lean makes it highly addictive.
If you are concerned that someone you care about is taking unhealthy amounts of codeine, substance abuse treatments in Portland can provide assistance.
How Does Drinking Lean Affect The Body?
As the codeine in cough syrup is broken down into morphine, the morphine binds to nerves that perceive pain. In addition to blocking pain signals, morphine also releases chemicals that present a rush of happiness and euphoria. When people drink lean along with other drugs that prevent the breakdown of feel-good chemicals, that euphoria gets amplified.
The broken-down-codeine also binds into the brainstem, which controls breathing. When oxygen in the blood is low, the brainstem will send a message to the body to breathe even deeper to replace that oxygen. However, this is the type of message that gets blocked by taking morphine. Drinking enough cough syrup—especially when it’s mixed with other psychoactive chemicals—literally causes the body to forget to breathe.
Side effects of drinking lean include:
- Slumped posture
- Uncoordinated movements
- Cognitive impairment
- Memory loss
- Rapid heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
Side Effects of Lean Withdrawal
Lean is so dangerous because of the high levels of codeine present in the mixture. People drinking lean are consuming more than 20 times more codeine than the prescribed dosage recommends. Once the body becomes dependent, people experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking it. Codeine withdrawal can be particularly awful, especially during the first few days. A medication-assisted treatment program may help after the initial detox period ends. Symptoms of codeine withdrawal include the following:
- Severe insomnia
- Severe muscle aches
Drug addiction is a problem for all demographics. No subset of the population is immune to the risks of potential addiction or drug abuse. Lean addiction is no exception. To better protect and help your loved ones, learn more about lean, what it is, what its symptoms are, and how you can spot or overcome a lean addiction successfully. Crestview’s Portland residential and inpatient rehab offers excellent addiction treatment programs for people coping with the following issues:
- Drug addiction
- Chemical dependency
- A dual diagnosis
How is Lean Made, and Why is it Popular?
In order to make lean, you need access to prescription-strength cold or cough medicine. This liquid cough medicine contains codeine, which is an opioid drug. It gets mixed with Sprite or any other citrus-flavored soda. It’s topped off with ice cubes and sour candy to add sweetness. Lean is often sipped slowly over several hours. Its potency can vary significantly from batch to batch, especially because the amount of cough syrup used varies.
Many teens and young adults drink lean because it is often associated with the music industry or celebrity status. Lean originated in Texas, but it is now found across the country. Many rappers, and others in the music industry, openly consume lean and admit to having a lean addiction. Even when they actively emphasize the negative side effects of lean, young people see it as glamorous.
The Risks of Lean Addiction
The risks of lean drink abuse start with the very first sip. Right away, users can experience side effects like dizziness, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, and lapses in memory. Using lean also means that you’re more likely to get injured, have an overdose, or be involved in an accident.
There is also the risk of developing a lean addiction. Since lean contains opiates, it can be just as addictive as prescription painkillers like oxycodone. Taking larger doses or combining lean with alcohol only increases the likelihood of developing an addiction.
Signs of a Lean Addiction
Learning to spot the signs of a lean addiction means you can get help sooner for someone you love. Someone addicted to lean might nod off without warning or have a very strange sleep pattern. You might also notice that they have sudden dental issues because lean is full of sugar and is sipped constantly.
Someone may have a codeine addiction or if they are open about lean, cough syrup, or cold medicine abuse. They might also have changed their behavior, appearance, or financial status.
Overcome Lean Addiction at Crestview Recovery
At Crestview Recovery, clients can learn how to overcome an addiction to lean. Comprehensive addiction therapy services and a wide range of tools help train clients for a life of sobriety without relapse. Some of the treatments available include:
A lean addiction is a serious problem, but the right help can pave the way to health. At Crestview Recovery in Portland, Oregon, you’ll be able to fight back against addiction once and for all. Call 866.262.0531 if you’re ready to learn more about a custom path to addiction recovery.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.