a man sits on a chair in the dark and thinks about the signs of lean abuse

Signs of Lean Abuse

Lean, also known as purple drank or sizzurp, is a sedative drink that has gained popularity among teens and young adults. It is a cocktail of promethazine, codeine cough syrup, and soft drinks. While drinking lean may seem harmless, it can lead to significant physical and mental health problems when misused. Learn how to spot the signs of lean abuse so you will know if someone in your life needs help to overcome addiction.

At The Right Step Hill Country, we recognize that addiction treatment is not one-size-fits-all. We aim to help all of our clients achieve their recovery goals by offering a range of inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs. And we promote lifelong success through ongoing support from our Rooted alumni program. To learn more, call us today at 1.844.675.1628 or fill out our online form.

What Is Lean?

Lean is a drug primarily made using prescription cough syrup that contains codeine, which is an opioid that can lead to dependence and addiction. The cough syrup is also mixed with promethazine, an antihistamine that causes drowsiness. When combined, these two sedative drugs amplify one another’s effects, leading to intense euphoria, sedation, and slowed breathing.

On its own, prescription cough syrup can have an unpleasant taste. To make lean, also popularly known as purple drank, the cough syrup is mixed with soda, resulting in a sweet purplish or reddish cocktail. 

What Are the Signs of Lean Abuse?

Using lean can have a variety of short- and long-term side effects. If someone is misusing lean, you may notice signs like:

  • Disorientation
  • Impaired coordination
  • Nausea
  • Slowed speech
  • Glassy eyes 
  • Mood swings
  • Impaired judgment

Codeine and promethazine have sedative properties, and the combination of the two will have even more intense effects like those above. If someone uses lean excessively, their body functions can slow to dangerously low levels. For example, they may suffer oxygen deprivation from extended slowed or stopped breathing. If you see someone exhibiting the above signs of lien abuse, you should reach out for emergency assistance.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms with Lean Addiction

If someone uses lean consistently, they can become dependent on or addicted to the substance. One of the most obvious ways to know that you are dealing with lean addiction is by the presence of withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not taken.

Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms of lean addiction are:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Tremors

These withdrawal symptoms are only relieved by taking more of the drug, which is how an addiction develops. Symptoms will vary depending on how severe the person’s addiction is and can make it challenging to quit lean without medical intervention. If you or someone you know exhibits the above withdrawal symptoms, it is vital that you seek professional help to prevent the addiction from setting in further.

Long-Term Effects of Lean Abuse

Using lean over the long term can put you at risk of several physical and mental health issues. Becoming dependent on lean or developing an addiction to it is one of the obvious long-term side effects. But you can also experience damage to your liver, respiratory system, and neurological function. And in the most serious cases, you can have an overdose or die from long-term, excessive lean abuse.

Contact The Right Step Hill Country to Get Help for Lean Addiction

Lean abuse is dangerous and can be potentially life-threatening. Our experienced and compassionate professionals can help guide you toward a personalized treatment plan that meets your specific needs.

If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of lean abuse, reach out to the professionals at The Right Step Hill Country by calling us at 1.844.675.1628 or contacting us online. With our support and evidence-based treatment, we can help you overcome lean addiction and move on to a more satisfying life.

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