Lean drink is a combination of soft drink, prescription-strength cough syrup, and fruit-flavored candy. Lean, also known as sizzurp, dirty sprite, purple drank, and lean drink, often contains an opioid drug called codeine. This presents a danger for those drinking lean, as opioids are known for their dependent characteristics. 

Some cough syrups used in lean drink contain promethazine, which is an antihistamine with sedative properties. Combining codeine and an antihistamine like promethazine could lead to a dramatic impairment of motor function. 

Codeine: What Is Lean Drink?

Codeine is an opioid or opiate drug that has several medical uses. One use is a cough suppressant or mild analgesic. In cases of non-prescription use, when codeine is consumed in large doses, it presents serious harmful effects. While drinking lean, it may be difficult to monitor how much has been consumed because of the nature of the effects and the drink’s familiar flavor – soda and candy. 

The lean drink phenomenon is relatively recent. Therefore, there are not completely conclusive statistics available regarding the substance. Since the primary ingredient in lean drink can be legally obtained with a prescription, it is almost impossible to track its misuse. Popular culture celebrities and athletes have been in several news stories involving the drug. In addition, songs referring to “sizzurp” or “dirty sprite” appeal to adolescents who may not understand the consequences of narcotics. 

How Did Drinking Lean Become Popular?

Lean drink gained popularity primarily in young people in urban communities. The concoction is a cheap and easy way for people to get high. In some cases, it can be even more accessible for young people to obtain than alcoholic beverages or drugs. Some users add hydrocodone, PCP, or cocaine to further increase the highly psychoactive effects of drinking lean. 

What Are the Side Effects of Lean? 

Side effects of lean gradually worsen after continuous use. Lean is especially dangerous because of its addictive properties, urging users to continue using the substance. Drinking lean can lead to widespread health issues. Some of the side effects of lean include:

  • Memory issues
  • Listlessness
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting

Drinking lean regularly can have severe consequences, such as:

  • Dental decay
  • Seizures
  • Weight gain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Breathing issues
  • Urinary tract infections

There may be a misconception that lean is not incredibly unsafe since it contains substances that doctors prescribe. Contrary to popular belief, large quantities or long-term use of these narcotics can lead to lethal drug effects. Health risks when consuming lean are compounded if the user combines the substance with other drugs, such as alcohol

Is Drinking Lean Addictive?

The opioid ingredient in lean drink is highly addictive because of its euphoric and rewarding effects. Opioids are extremely dangerous and addictive. Therefore, they should only be taken under the direction of a medical doctor. Physicians prescribe opioids in a way that mitigates the substance’s addictive potential as much as possible. 

Consistent use of opioids, such as codeine, often leads to drug dependence and increased drug tolerance. The likelihood of a dangerous outcome increases when an individual builds a tolerance to a substance. Consuming more opioids to experience the substance’s desired effects may complete the addiction cycle and solidify the development of the individual’s physical dependence. 

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms from opioids make it even more difficult to break an active addiction. People that are dependent on opioids experience several unpleasant symptoms when going without the substance for an extended period. A person addicted to opioids, such as codeine, may experience some or all of the following withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive sweating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose and increased tearing
  • Goosebumps and chills
  • Increased breathing and heart rate

What Are Opioids?

Opioids such as codeine are used to treat mild to severe pain. Opioids are a family of drugs that can produce pain relief. When taken as prescribed, the risks tend to be minimal and manageable. Opioid misuse poses more significant health hazards because it leads to dependence and abuse, leading to overdoses and sometimes death. 

Synthetic opioids include substances, such as:

  • Methadone
  • Fentanyl
  • Meperidine
  • Tramadol
  • Loveorphanol

Semi-synthetic opioids include substances, such as:

  • Oxycodone
  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone

Symptoms and Signs of Opioid Use

Individuals developing an opioid use disorder tend to have success in hiding their abuse for a limited time. But the consequences of opioid use are so overwhelming that signs and symptoms will become more apparent over time. Some common behavioral, physical, cognitive, and psychosocial symptoms include:

Behavioral Symptoms:

  • Self-isolation
  • Stealing medicine from family or friends
  • Dishonesty regarding pain or symptoms to receive prescriptions
  • Making multiple doctor’s appointments to try to receive multiple prescriptions
  • Bad work or school performance
  • Uncharacteristic or unexplained periods of absence

Cognitive Symptoms:

  • Impaired decision making
  • Impaired judgment
  • Decline in problem-solving skills
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Detachment from surroundings, dissociation 

Lean Cough Syrup Addiction Treatment

Drinking lean and general opioid abuse is a serious and widespread issue that can have long-lasting consequences, including an increased chance of overdose. At Sana Lake, we offer various types of programs to help patients recover from opioid addiction. Some of these programs include detoxification, medication-assisted therapy, residential rehabilitation, and counseling sessions with professionals.


Cough syrup addiction treatment starts with detox. Detox programs help remove substance-related toxins from the body so the individual can begin treatment with a completely sober body and mind. Detoxing at Sana Lake also provides a sense of safety, as our medical professionals are present each step of the way. We offer medical guidance since withdrawal symptoms of many substances are extremely uncomfortable and, in some cases, may be deadly. 

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Since “lean drink” contains opioids, a medically-assisted treatment may be necessary. This form of therapy is commonly used for opioid recovery. Individuals in medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, can focus more on their recovery since certain medications can help reduce drug cravings and make withdrawal symptoms less uncomfortable.

Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Naltrexone

Medications like methadone and buprenorphine are very effective in treating addiction. These medicines essentially target the same area of the brain as opioids but do not make an individual feel high. This can help the individual focus on their recovery for an extended period of time without having any cravings or withdrawal symptoms. The goal is to restore balance in the physical aspects of one’s brain affected by substance abuse, which will allow them to recover from addiction.

Naltrexone is a prescription medication used to treat opioid addiction. This drug works differently than buprenorphine and methadone. Unlike more common treatments for substance abuse, naltrexone blocks the ability of opioids such as heroin or codeine from producing any high-inducing sensations in users who take it. Therefore, this treatment option can be helpful when trying to prevent relapse following recovery.

Residential Treatment

Inpatient rehabilitation helps people with severe addictions recover from various substance use disorders. It can act as cough syrup addiction treatment or treatment for several other addictions. 

Residential programs can help people who are struggling with addiction to live a more sober lifestyle. Residential treatment facilities combine housing and clinical support in order to provide patients the best possible chance of long-term recovery. Patients at Sana Lake Recovery Inpatient Rehab Kansas City have around-the-clock access to professional care, including psychological and emotional support.

Addiction Counseling

In many cases, people with difficult lives or unfortunate mental complexities often look to substances as a coping method for symptoms of trauma or disorder. Addiction counseling is an essential pillar in addiction recovery because it helps the addict understand their emotional motivations and behaviors while providing them resources to cope responsibly without drugs.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is a useful form of counseling that can help individuals overcome traumas and emotional challenges in an effort to stop negative cognitive habits. The therapist spends time with the individual, guiding them through one-on-one sessions as they work towards positive changes. These sessions help form new healthy patterns while celebrating progress made along the way.

Group Therapy 

Group therapy is an essential component of the recovery process. Group sessions are led by a substance abuse therapist and made up of two or more individuals who provide input to foster healthy bonds in addition to addressing their individual issues while undergoing recovery from addiction. In combination with individual therapy, group therapy helps people develop coping skills they will use while maintaining sobriety.

Holistic Treatment

Those with an addiction to drinking lean may find it increasingly difficult to quit the narcotic. Holistic therapy offers an alternative treatment that proves useful with many types of addictions. At Sana Lake Recovery, we combine traditional methods of recovery with holistic practices to treat the whole person. Holistic practices you can expect to participate in at Sana Lake Recovery include:

  • Yoga
  • Journaling
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Massage and acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Acupressure

Get Help at Sana Lake Recovery

Addiction is a complicated brain disease that is almost impossible to beat without support. At Sana Lake, we believe no one should battle addiction alone. Opioid-related addictions are especially difficult to break. If you or a loved one are looking for cough syrup addiction treatment, please reach out immediately.