What is lean drug? If you are anything like me, you probably haven’t heard of this drink until very recently, if at all. The drug/drink is basically this: prescription cold medication containing promethazine and codeine mixed with soda.
Promethazine is an antihistamine. Codeine is an opium derivative, known for its pain relief and sedative effects. The soda can be a variety of beverages, but often Mountain Dew or Sprite is used.
Common slang names for the lean drug also include Purple Drank and Sizzurp. Sometimes extra color and flavor is added by using Jolly Rancher candies or Skittles. Unfortunately, a grape soda also exists called “Drank”, which purportedly also has sedative effects due to the presence of melatonin.
Who Uses this drug?
It is most often concocted by teenagers and young adults in lieu of other substances which are not as easily obtained. This drink combination appears to have started in the Houston, Texas area.
However, it has also inexplicably became popular among the rap community and football players. In fact, rapper Lil Wayne rapped about Lean drug use.
Several prominent members of the hip hop community have died from a codeine overdose. Among them are DJ Screw and Big Hawk. One of the hard parts about recovering from this drug is that it seems to have a community connection. That is, if one uses, there’s a good chance many friends use as well.
Effects and Side Effects of Lean
- Voices changes (often sounding rough or raspy)
- Slowed or impaired speech
- Rapid or uncontrollable eye movement
- Droopy eyes
- Decreased heart rate
- Impaired balance
- Decreased coordination
- Pale skin
Is the Lean Drug Addictive?
Yes. Any opiate or synthetic opioid has the potential for addiction, including tolerance and dependence. Lean is a not a gateway drug per say, but could possibly lead to experimentation with even more dangerous opiates.
Can you Overdose on the Lean Drug?
Yes. As noted above, overdosing on codeine (leading to coma or death) is entirely possible and does happen regularly. Approximately 400 deaths every year in the United States are attributed to codeine overdose.
DJ Screw was an American hip hop DJ based out of Houston, TX. He was the creator of the famous “chopped and screwed” DJ technique.
Davis had regional success but his notoriety didn’t really take off until after his death, when Houston rap began reaching a larger audience in 2005.
In November, 2000, DJ Screw was discovered dead in of his recording studio. Coroner reports confirmed the cause of death was a codeine overdose and mixed drug intoxication.
Chad Lamont Butler aka Pimp C (December 29, 1973 – December 4, 2007)
Hip Hop recording artist and producer Pimp C was best known for his work with Bun B as an original member of the Underground Kingz (UGK). UGK was formed in 1987 in Port Arthur, TX. Subsequently, they were signed to Jive Records, and released six studio albums and a compilation.
In July, 2006, Pimp C released his first solo album, Pimpalation.
In December, 2007, Butler was found dead in a hotel in West Hollywood, California. His death appeared to be the result of a codeine overdose combined with sleep apnea, a pre-existing sleeping disorder.
Steven Rodriguez aka A$AP Yams (November 14, 1988 – January 18, 2015)
A$AP Yams was a hip hop executive, and co-owner of the A$AP Worldwide record label. He formed a hip hop collective in 2006 known as the A$AP Mob with other New York rappers. In 2011, the group began to get increased recognition after a member, Rocky, released videos for two singles which went viral on YouTube.
On the morning of January 18, 2015, Rodriguez was discovered unresponsive in his Brooklyn apartment. Later, the New York City medical examiner reported that the cause of death was acute mixed drug intoxication. Drug detected included opiates and benzodiazepines. Or more specifically, Lean and Xanax.
Finally, in March, 2013, the Grammy Award winning rapper reportedly overdosed on purple drank. He was hospitalized for a few days, but fully recovered.
If you or someone you know is an addict, please seek help immediately.