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What is Lean?

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In recent years, the consumption of lean has become more common, especially among the younger generation. The potentially addictive ingredients in the cough syrup used to make lean can end up creating a dangerous addiction that causes serious physical and emotional damage. If you consume this drink or know someone who does, it’s important to look for signs of lean addiction and determine if treatment has become necessary.

Defining Lean

Lean is a drink made by combining cough syrup with soda or another liquid mixer in order to achieve a feeling of being drunk or high. Some people mix the cough syrup with candies, creating a sweet taste that often disguises the fact that lean consumption can have similar effects to drinking alcohol or using drugs. 

Lean is also known as sizzurp and purple drank and rose to popularity in hip hop culture. Because cough syrup is an over-the-counter medication, many people who drink lean believe there is minimal potential harm that can occur when consuming it. Lean often contains up to 25 times more than the recommended dose of codeine, a key ingredient in cough syrups, which can cause dangerous side effects in consumers.

What Causes Lean Addiction?

The cough syrup used in lean contains codeine, a highly addictive opioid. Opioids remain one of the most commonly abused psychoactive substances in the United States. They increase dopamine and other pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters and can cause physical and psychological dependency. 

Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription medications such as oxycodone, morphine, and hydrocodone, as well as illegal drugs like heroin. Once an addiction to opioids takes hold of a person, it becomes necessary to seek a professional treatment program in order to detox from the drug and stay off it.

Cough syrup also typically contains promethazine, which is a type of antihistamine that induces live enzymes, which in turn increases the potency of codeine. This increase in how codeine affects a person can have swift negative effects, including ones that require medical attention.

The Popularity of Lean Addiction in Young People

Lean addiction has a particular stronghold in the younger generation for a few reasons. One relates to how younger people, including teenagers and college-age young adults, don’t always understand the risks associated with consuming lean. They often believe they are merely enjoying a safe concoction of a sweet drink coupled with common medication and don’t understand that they may end up with an addiction. 

Younger people who cannot legally purchase alcohol or do not have access to prescription medications or street drugs may find that lean provides an easy way to enjoy feelings of inebriation. Cough syrup can be easily purchased from a variety of stores or taken straight from the family medicine cabinet. The mixers used, such as soda and candy, are also easily obtained, making it easy to have the ingredients for lean on hand without raising any suspicions from parents or caregivers.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that half of the references to codeine on Instagram concerned lean. Instagram is a social media outlet that enjoys immense popularity with younger people. Lean is also often celebrated and promoted within the hip-hop and rap community, making it easy for some people to want to emulate its usage. Lean is often present at high school and college parties, as well as electronic dance music parties. 

Side Effects of Lean Addiction

Lean addiction can result in several different side effects. Due to the high that codeine causes, many people who regularly abuse lean often experience bouts of euphoria and happiness that may seem unusual to observers. In addition to that, many of the side effects are physically damaging and some may require medical attention. These can include:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired vision
  • Disorientation
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Decreased motor skills
  • Memory loss
  • Shallow breathing
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations

How to Treat Lean Addiction

Addiction to lean means a person has become physically addicted to it and will require a detox program. Withdrawal symptoms from lean addiction can be both physical and emotional, and trying to detox without assistance often doesn’t work. A professional treatment program provides round-the-clock support to help reduce and alleviate the withdrawal symptoms, making the individual more likely to complete the detox process successfully. 

Many people opt for outpatient treatment either in lieu of residential treatment or as the next step after completing residential treatment. Outpatient treatment provides needed structure and support during the day while allowing the person to return to their homes at night. 

Evidence-based treatments, like cognitive and dialectical behavior therapy programs, greatly improve recovery outcomes. Along with individual counseling, both group therapy and family therapy sessions can help boost a person’s ability to understand the role they play in their own addiction, and how to move forward. 

Many inpatient treatment facilities also offer holistic-based therapies, such as yoga, acupuncture, art therapy, and aquatic activities. Holistic therapy aids in providing healthy coping strategies and decreases stress, providing a balance often lacking in the life of someone new to sobriety.

Lean Addiction Treatment in St. Augustine

If you or someone you love has developed a lean addiction, it’s important to get help immediately. At Pearl of the Sea Retreat, we understand that getting treatment can seem scary, but our compassionate, highly skilled staff will be with you through every step of your recovery. Our premier substance abuse center offers detox, residential, and outpatient programs in a luxury setting. Call or use our contact form today to help end your lean addiction.

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