Is Lean Addictive?
Drinking prescription cough syrup with codeine by mixing it with alcohol or soda (lean) was popular in the late 1980s and 1990s. Unfortunately, this misuse of such substances has reemerged and is very popular with adolescents and young adults. As a result, you may be wondering, is lean addictive?
What Is Lean?
Lean is combining prescription codeine cough syrup with alcohol or soda and some form of hard candy. Other common street names for lean include:
- Dirty sprite
- Purple drank
Codeine is a type of opioid made from the poppy plant – the same plant used to make morphine and heroin. Another drug in the cough syrup is promethazine, an antihistamine medication that is a sedative. Misusing the combination of these drugs when not prescribed is very habit-forming.
Is Drinking Lean Dangerous?
Unfortunately, those that abuse lean do not think about the potential dangers they face. One reason for this is largely due to celebrities popularizing the drink in songs and on social media. As such, the seriousness of lean is downplayed, resulting in people believing it is not as dangerous as other addictive substances.
However, abusing lean can lead to severe consequences and accidental overdoses. When lean is obtained on the streets, one never knows exactly what is in it. In some cases, it could contain lethally high doses of codeine. It could also be mixed using heroin or fentanyl.
For example, the sedative effects of promethazine, when combined with high amounts of codeine or other opioids, can cause an individual to go into respiratory distress, meaning they cannot breathe. When breathing stops, a person can die in as little as six minutes.
Is Lean Addictive?
Lean is an addictive drug due to its effects on the pain receptors in the brain and central nervous system. Initially, the first time someone uses lean, they may feel euphoric, dizzy, and relaxed. They may even experience pleasurable hallucinations or feel like time has slowed down.
Sadly, the brain associates this “high” with positive behavior. Therefore, it naturally reinforces lean use in the brain’s pleasure center. As a result, the brain will trigger a craving for lean, causing a person to want to drink lean again.
Other Effects of Drinking Lean
- Elevated body temperature
- Difficulties breathing
- Loss of consciousness
- Impulsive/rash decision-making
- Engaging in risky behaviors
- Loss of coordination
- Drug-seeking behaviors
Lean Misuse and Tolerance
Similar to other addictive substances, the body develops a tolerance to lean. So, to achieve the desired effects, one must drink higher amounts of lean. Yet, even at higher levels, the body continues to build tolerance. Eventually, one could potentially drink an excessive amount of lean that causes them to slip into a coma or suffocate to death.
In addition, as tolerance builds, some people start to use lean with other substances to intensify and prolong the effects of lean, such as mixing lean with alcohol or other opioids. By combining lean with other substances, the potential for life-threatening accidental overdoses increases significantly.
What Are Lean Withdrawal Symptoms?
As the effects of lean start to wane, it is common to experience lean withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Memory loss
- Itchy skin
- Uncontrolled sweating
- Mood swings
- Muscle cramping/pain
- The “shakes”
- Decreased appetite
Long-Term Lean Addiction Effects
Aside from the withdrawal symptoms, the liver cannot process the high doses of acetaminophen found in prescription codeine cough syrups. Therefore, prolonged use of lean can cause liver damage and eventual liver failure.
Is Lean Addiction Treatable?
When someone has a lean addiction, discontinuing use can be very difficult because of the potential severity of lean withdrawal symptoms. Some people find withdrawal so painful and uncomfortable that they would rather continue to misuse lean than go through withdrawal.
Quitting lean “cold turkey” is extremely dangerous when it has been abused for quite some time. The body can go into shock from a lack of lean due to the chemical changes it causes in the brain and central nervous system.
Therefore, the most effective way to treat lean addiction is with supervised detox using medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT incorporates the use of different medications that mimic the effects of codeine and lessen the severity of lean withdrawal symptoms.
Lean Addiction Detox Treatment at Home in Beverly Hills, CA
When you want to stop abusing lean and want to reduce the severity of lean withdrawal symptoms, you can do so from the comfort of your home with help from MD Home Detox. We offer custom-tailored, concierge-level lean detox programs in Beverly Hills and the greater Los Angeles area.
Our detox programs are supervised by a healthcare professional and can include the use of MAT. So, you will have the support you need to detox from lean successfully. Most importantly, you complete detox at home in a comfortable setting.
Once your detox is complete, we are happy to assist you in deciding your next steps and providing you access to our extensive network of referred professionals. To start your at-home lean detox treatment or for further information about our detox programs, please feel free to contact us today!
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