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What Is Lean Cough Syrup?
Lean is an illicit substance made with codeine cough syrup, soda, and hard candy. Codeine is derived from the opium poppy plant (similar to morhine) and is one of the weaker opioids. However, because it is still highly addictive and potentially damaging to the body. It’s possible for an individual to develop a lean addiction in a relatively short period of time due to the way opioids short-circuit the brain’s reward response system.
Nicknamed Purple Drank, Sizzurp, and Dirty Sprite, lean was initially a popular drink among blue musicians in Houston who mixed Robitussin® with beer. Then, in the 1980s, Houston rappers opted to instead use codeine, soda, and a piece of hard candy (commonly Jolly Ranchers) for sweetness. The drink’s popularity spread throughout the south, becoming the cornerstone of countless songs, including some by Three 6 Mafia (“Sippin on Some Sizzurp”), Lil Wayne (“Me and My Drank”), and Future (“Dirty Sprite”). Today, lean is responsible for the deaths of a number of hip-hop entertainers and is widely popular among young people around the globe.
What Are Purple Drank, Sizzurp, Syrup, and Lean?
Lean cough syrup’s main ingredient is a mild opioid narcotic, making it a target of abuse for people seeking narcotic highs. Many codeine cough syrups no longer contain alcohol, so purple drank and similar brews often contain alcohol. Some of the cough syrups may also contain dextromethorphan, or DXM, a cough suppressant that replaced codeine in over-the-counter cold and flu medicines. This drug is also intoxicating and dangerous, and has become a target of abuse. Another sedating drug often found in cough syrups is promethazine.
The mixture of cough syrup, alcohol, soda, and sometimes hard candy like Jolly Ranchers first became popularized in the 1990s. Since then, the DEA has rescheduled codeine so it requires a prescription, and both federal and state authorities track these prescriptions, along with the sale of cough syrups in general. These laws were instituted due to meth production in small labs in the US, which used cough and cold medicines.
Purple drank derives its name from the classic purple color of most codeine cough syrups;
Possible Consequences of Drinking Lean
Feelings of euphoria
Slowed heart rate
Urinary tract infections
Seizures (in at-risk individuals)