Adding cough syrup to a beverage turns it into lean, also known as syrup or purple drink. Cough syrup contains codeine, which gets broken down into morphine when it reaches the liver. Like any opioid, lean is highly addictive for many people due to its ability to relieve pain and provide a sense of euphoria. Kids drink lean at parties because it tastes good, makes them relax, and is often mixed with sour gummy worms. If you are concerned that a teen you care about has become addicted, contact Destinations for Teens by calling 877.466.0620.
How Does Lean Affect The Body?
When the codeine in cough syrup becomes morphine, this chemical binds to nerves that sense pain, blocking that pain signal. Morphine also releases chemicals that present a rush of euphoria. When it’s combined with other drugs that prevent the breakdown of feel-good chemicals, that euphoria is amplified. Morphine also binds into the brainstem, which controls breathing. When oxygen is low in the blood, the brainstem will send a message to the body to breathe deeper and faster to replace that oxygen. This is the type of message that gets blocked by morphine. Drinking enough cough syrup–especially when it’s mixed with other psychoactive chemicals–will cause your body to forget to breathe.
How Long Do the Effects Last?
If you haven’t figured this out, lean gets its name from the user’s loss of balance. This symptom is not particular to lean users. It is also evident in heroin users and those who are addicted to prescription opioids like oxycodone. The effects of drinking lean will appear about an hour after taking the first drink and may last for up to 6 hours afterward.
Similar to other opioids, the user will quickly develop a dependency on the drug and an increased tolerance. This means a user must drink more and more to obtain the feeling they desire. In the meantime, the person’s health is being compromised by drinking it. Breathing rates become shallow and slow. The entire body will suffer from reduced oxygen intake, including the brain. Once breathing stops and the brain is no longer receiving life-sustaining oxygen, it only takes 6 minutes for a person to be declared braindead. A person can easily go from the occasional drinking of lean to a daily habit to severe medical consequences, including coma or death in just a few years. Symptoms of codeine include the following:
- Slumped posture
- Uncoordinated movements
- Memory loss
- Rapid heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
How is Lean Addiction Treated?
Lean is so dangerous because of the extremely high levels of codeine found in the mixture. People drinking lean are consuming up to 25 times more codeine than the prescribed dosage recommends. And, the withdrawal from codeine can be very difficult, especially during the first two days. Medication-assisted detox and treatment may be required to deal with the effects of withdrawal, which include insomnia, muscle aches, agitation, and anxiety. Destinations for Teens offers excellent treatment programs for teens addressing the following issues:
Destinations for Teens is California’s Premier Teen Rehab
Destinations for Teens offers treatment for teens ages 13 and older who are struggling with substance use and behavioral health issues. Residential addiction treatment offers the support and structure that is often necessary for teens to detox from Lean in a non-hospital setting. We offer a range of therapies that are proven to modify behavior and maladaptive behaviors. These include family therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).
Destinations for Teens can also help those that wish to remain home during treatment. Our intensive outpatient programs are tailored to those who are working or attending school. We help all our clients develop the coping skills necessary to live a clean and sober lifestyle and prevent relapsing. Contact us at 877.466.0620 to learn more.