Among teens and young adults, one of the newest and most commonly abused substances is the Lean drink. Also called “Purple Drank”, “Dirty Sprite”, this homemade concoction can cause numerous health risks.
What’s in the Lean Drink?
Typically, cold medicine containing promethazine-codeine is Lean’s base ingredient, but sometimes users substitute it with over-the-counter medicines containing dextromethorphan. Users generally add Sprite along with flavored hard candies. The result is a colorful, sweet drink with many deceptive addictive properties. When individuals abuse Lean, they almost always exceed the recommended cold or cough dosage.
One of the most dangerous aspects of Lean drink is that pop culture has glorified its use over the years. In the past, it has been linked to a number of rappers, musicians and even professional football players. This glorification means that many teens and young adults view Lean as a cool substance. However, anyone who has suffered from addiction knows that is a lie.
The Risks of a Homemade Mixture Like Lean
Abusing any drug, whether it’s over-the-counter medication or requires a prescription, comes with a number of health risks. However, it’s even more dangerous to consume a homemade mixture like Lean. Consuming a Lean drink means that the dosage is unregulated, the base ingredient origin is unclear and the beverage can be spiked if someone else makes it.
While Lean usually involves some type of cough or cold medicine, there’s no regulation about type, strength or even its expiration date. These medicines can differ wildly when it comes to potency. Additionally, some use expired cold medicine to keep costs low.
There’s also the risk of consuming more than intended. While cold medicine and cough syrup is usually administered in specific amounts, Lean drink is not. Some drinks contain more active ingredients than others, and too much sugar could hide the taste of the medicine. Collectively, this greatly increases the risk of consuming far too much at one time.
Addiction Lean Drink Dangers
There’s a common misconception that lean drinks won’t be addictive. There’s also a myth that lean won’t show up on drug tests, since it is an over-the-counter medication. The reality is that both of these stories are false. Lean is highly addictive, and it can show up as a positive result on a drug test.
Codeine is an opioid that will show up on most drug tests. College students, job applicants or those on parole might all fail drug tests after drinking Lean. While this is important on its own, keep in mind that opiates are highly addictive. Even occasional Lean drink consumption can lead to dependence.
Recognizing and Treating Lean and Purple Drank Addictions
Seeking addiction treatment is key to gain lasting sobriety. For young adults struggling with Lean abuse or various types of addiction, Sober College in California help those individuals embrace recovery.
Our rehab for young adults offers various levels of care, including:
Have questions regarding Lean drink for yourself or a loved one?
Call 877.634.7849 to speak with an admissions counselor.