Substance Use

What Are the Side Effects of Lean Abuse?

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Side Effects and Dangers of Lean Abuse

It goes by many names — sizzurp, purple drank, and dirty Sprite. It’s known as lean, and it’s contributing to addiction struggles and fatalities. Lean is an opioid concoction that has become synonymous with the hip-hop and electronic music scene. It’s a recreational beverage that commonly contains codeine cough syrup, with some artists using it as a source of creative inspiration.

Sadly, it’s contributing to the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States. Since 1999, over 760,000 people have died from a drug overdose — and around two out of three overdose deaths involved opioids. High doses of codeine can lead to death, and lean addiction can develop with chronic use. 

Although the main codeine product most commonly used in this concoction was taken off the market in 2014, it’s still available on the black market. It’s also still possible to obtain products containing codeine or promethazine in the United States with a prescription. Users may misuse their medication, steal it from loved ones, or purchase it illegally. Learn more about the side effects of lean abuse and how to seek help for addiction.

If you or your loved one are struggling with addiction, Zinnia Health can help. Discover more about our evidence-based treatment process and the steps to take if you need addiction support. 

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What Are the Short-Term Side Effects of Lean?

The short-term effects will depend on what formulation of lean a user ingests. Most commonly, users blend soda with codeine-containing cough syrup. However, many also add promethazine, an antihistamine that can strengthen the effects of codeine. As a result, users feel relaxed. When this combination is taken in high doses, hallucinations can develop. 

Since codeine is an opioid, it can help relieve pain and increase feelings of relaxation. When promethazine is added, sleepiness and relaxation are enhanced.

Together, they can make a user experience:

  • Altered states of consciousness
  • Poor judgment
  • Changes in vision
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Increased heart rate
  • Confusion
  • Slow breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Overdose when consumed at high doses or when combined with other substances

What Are the Long-Term Side Effects of Lean?

One of drug abuse’s most problematic long-term effects is addiction, and lean is no exception. Lean is highly addictive and often within a short period. If users sip on lean daily and suddenly stop, they’ll experience severe flu-like symptoms. These symptoms are associated with opioid withdrawal.  

Other long-term effects include:

  • Potential organ damage
  • Potential infertility and sexual dysfunction
  • Behavior and personality changes
  • Dental decay
  • Weight gain
  • Urinary tract infections

The longer you abuse lean, the higher the chances are you’ll succumb to the effects of your addiction. Over the past two decades, law enforcement authorities have expressed concern over the rising death toll. This toll includes the death of the man credited with popularizing the mixture. 

Lean abuse can be fatal, so seeking immediate help is crucial. Zinnia Health provides individualized, comprehensive treatment options. Ready to take the next step on your road to recovery? Please call us at (855) 430-9439 to discuss your options today. 

How Is Lean Abused?

Based on the presence of lean in the celebrity world, some users may not realize how dangerous lean abuse is. Rappers and other musicians often talk about lean in their lyrics and are also seen drinking lean on social media. At-risk young adults are particularly susceptible to these trends, increasing their risk of long-term substance abuse. 

Although codeine is one of the weaker opioids, this is what makes it so dangerous, especially when mixed with other substances. Users can begin using it frequently or consume it in quantities that increase their risk of sudden death. The misconception is that this “weaker” opioid doesn’t pose as much of a threat. When in reality, users are ingesting massive amounts when creating lean concoctions. 

If users party often and lean use is glorified, they can fall into a cycle of abuse. Tolerance can develop, causing the user to increase their dosage. Once dependence develops and the user experiences opioid withdrawal symptoms, they will continue to use it to avoid these uncomfortable symptoms. Users describe this experience as having the flu combined with anxiety, tremors, and insomnia, but much more severe. 

Signs of Lean Abuse

Signs of lean abuse are similar to other substance use disorders, particularly opioid abuse.

When a user becomes addicted to lean, they will showcase three core warning signs:

  • Loss of control 
  • Use despite negative consequences 
  • Craving and preoccupation with substance use 

Being able to recognize signs of lean abuse can help you take action so that you can work towards a healthier, more fulfilling life. Lean addiction has an accumulating effect on your physical health and personal relationships. 

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact With Lean?

Opioids are depressants that slow down parts of the brain that control breathing. When combined with other depressants, like benzodiazepines, sedatives, and alcohol, the effects can become amplified and life-threatening. 

For example, when mixing alcohol and codeine, you can experience dizziness, increased drowsiness, and an increased risk of overdose. Your breathing rate can slow down to dangerous levels, and your motor control can become impaired.

Depending on the situation, this can increase your risk of a fatal accident. A drop in blood pressure can be dangerous to some users based on prior health conditions. For some, coma results, followed by death. 

Physical signs of an overdose include constricted pupils, confusion, clammy skin, slowed breathing, extreme drowsiness, and seizures. 

Getting Help

As discussed, lean abuse can cause users to become dependent, contributing to symptoms of withdrawal. To ensure optimal comfort and safety, you should seek the assistance of a professional detox center, followed by structured addiction treatment. Zinnia Health offers a wide range of treatment programs, helping users overcome addiction and address their mental health. 

Inpatient and outpatient programs are available at facilities across the nation to address your concerns surrounding codeine addiction. These treatment facilities offer evidence-based therapies, helping users regain control of their lives. Whether you have been experimenting with lean alongside other drugs or are using lean to self-medicate, Zinnia Health is here for you. 

Please get in touch with Zinnia Health to discuss your unique needs. We’re here to answer your questions and help you get back on track. Resources are also available to provide the information you need to take the next critical steps. 

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