What Is in Lean? Unveiling the Cough Syrup Mix

Welcome to our informative article on lean, also known as purple drank, syrup, sizzurp, or barre. In this article, we will uncover the contents and composition of this popular concoction, as well as explore its effects and potential dangers. So, let’s dive in and discover what makes up lean and why it has become a cause for concern.

Lean is created by mixing prescription-strength cough medicine containing codeine with soda and hard candy. The sedative effects of codeine and promethazine hydrochloride, found in the cough medicine, are often associated with lean. Some variants of lean may also include alcohol, adding another layer of potential harm.

Lean has gained popularity in pop culture, with many hip-hop artists and celebrities endorsing it. However, it is crucial to understand that lean misuse can have serious health risks. Now, let’s take a closer look at the ingredients and their effects on the body.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lean is a mixture of prescription-strength cough medicine, soda, and hard candy.
  • The primary ingredients in lean are codeine and promethazine hydrochloride.
  • Lean can induce sedation, euphoria, nausea, impaired vision, and memory loss.
  • Misuse of lean can lead to serious health risks, including brain damage and irregular heartbeat.
  • Public health efforts are needed to address the normalization and increase in lean misuse.

The Origins of Lean and its Popularity in Hip-Hop Culture

Lean, also known as purple drank, syrup, sizzurp, or barre, first gained popularity in the 1990s among rappers in Houston, Texas. This unique concoction captured the attention of rap artist/producer DJ Screw, who created a genre of music inspired by the sedative effects of codeine and promethazine hydrochloride found in lean.

With the rise of hip-hop culture, the use of lean became widespread, especially among artists who promoted it in their music and public appearances. The glamorization of lean in hip-hop culture contributed to its growing popularity among fans and followers.

However, it is important to note that lean misuse extends beyond the African American community, as it has been documented in various countries around the world.

“Lean has become a cultural icon, symbolizing a certain lifestyle and image, particularly in the hip-hop community. Its association with relaxation, creativity, and self-expression has contributed to its allure and popularity.”

Lean misuse among African Americans, particularly young males, has been associated with high levels of sexual activity, other drug use, and a preference for hip-hop music. The combination of these factors has led to lean’s prominence in popular culture.

Lean has become deeply rooted in hip-hop culture and continues to influence its followers.

Lean’s Influence on Music and Fashion

Music artists, such as Lil Wayne, Future, and Travis Scott, have not only endorsed lean in their lyrics but have also incorporated it into their fashion choices and personal branding.

Music Artist Impact on Lean Culture
Lil Wayne Played a significant role in popularizing lean and openly discussed his lean use in interviews and songs.
Future Frequently references lean in his music, contributing to its association with hip-hop culture.
Travis Scott Developed a loyal following, influencing the popularity of lean among his fanbase.

The influence of lean extends beyond its recreational use, making it a significant element of hip-hop culture.

The image above represents the close association between lean and hip-hop culture, showing its presence in music, fashion, and popular imagery.

Continue reading to learn more about the ingredients of lean, their effects on the body, and the need for public health efforts to address this concerning trend.

The Ingredients of Lean and their Effects on the Body

Lean, also known as purple drank, is a mixture that primarily consists of two main ingredients: codeine and promethazine hydrochloride. Codeine is an opiate painkiller, while promethazine hydrochloride is an antihistamine with sedative properties.

When consumed, the ingredients in lean can produce a variety of effects on the body. These effects include:

  • Sedation: Lean can induce a sense of relaxation and drowsiness, leading to sedation.
  • Euphoria: Some individuals may experience feelings of euphoria, a sense of intense happiness or well-being.
  • Nausea: Lean can cause nausea and an upset stomach, which may lead to vomiting.
  • Dizziness: Dizziness and lightheadedness are common side effects of lean consumption.
  • Impaired vision: Lean can affect vision, causing blurred or impaired vision.
  • Memory loss: Lean has been associated with memory loss or difficulty in retaining information.
  • Hallucinations: In some cases, lean use can lead to hallucinations, where individuals see or hear things that are not there.
  • Seizures: Lean consumption has been linked to an increased risk of seizures, which are sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbances in the brain.

It is important to note that lean may also contain additional substances, such as dextromethorphan found in over-the-counter cough syrups. The presence of these substances can result in different effects when combined with codeine and promethazine hydrochloride.

The combination of these substances in lean can pose serious health risks and complications. Some of the potential risks and side effects include:

  • Brain damage: Prolonged lean use can lead to brain damage, impacting cognitive function and overall brain health.
  • Irregular heartbeat: Lean consumption can cause changes in heart rhythm, leading to an irregular heartbeat.
  • Blood pressure changes: The ingredients in lean can affect blood pressure levels, potentially resulting in high or low blood pressure.
  • Dry skin: Lean use may cause dryness and dehydration of the skin.
  • Breathing problems: Lean can suppress the respiratory system, leading to breathing difficulties and potentially respiratory failure.
  • Coma or death: In severe cases, lean use can result in a coma or even death.

It is crucial to understand the potential risks and effects of lean consumption, as the misuse of this concoction can have severe consequences on both physical and mental health.

lean ingredients

Comparison of Lean Effects on the Body

Effects Description
Sedation Relaxation and drowsiness
Euphoria Intense feelings of happiness or well-being
Nausea Upset stomach and potential vomiting
Dizziness Lightheadedness and dizziness
Impaired vision Blurred or impaired vision
Memory loss Difficulty in retaining information
Hallucinations Visual or auditory hallucinations
Seizures Sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbances in the brain

The Prevalence and Demographics of Lean Use

The usage of lean, outside of its initial popularity in Houston, Texas, remains largely unquantified. However, a survey conducted at a prominent university in the southeastern United States shed some light on lean prevalence among college students. It was found that approximately 6.5% of college students reported ever using lean.

This use was more commonly reported among males than females, with urban areas exhibiting higher rates of lean consumption. It is important to note that lean use does not exclusively associate with young African American males, as it extends beyond this demographic.

Lean Prevalence among College Students at a glance:

Demographics Prevalence
Males Higher prevalence
Females Lower prevalence
Urban areas Higher prevalence

Understanding the prevalence and demographics of lean use is crucial in developing targeted prevention and intervention strategies to address the issue effectively. It is essential to combat the glamorization and normalization of lean misuse among college students to ensure their health and well-being.

lean use among college students

The Dangers of Lean Misuse and Addiction

Lean misuse can have severe consequences on both physical and mental health. Addiction to lean, also known as purple drank or syrup, can occur due to various factors such as environmental influences, family history, genetics, and mental health conditions.

Trying to quit or reduce lean use without professional help can lead to withdrawal symptoms that can be challenging to manage. Some common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Runny nose
  • Chills
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches

These symptoms can be distressing and make it harder for individuals to quit lean on their own.

Developing an addiction to lean can have long-lasting health consequences. The sedative effects of codeine and promethazine hydrochloride, the main ingredients in lean, can cause respiratory depression, suppressed cognitive function, and impaired motor skills. Over time, lean addiction can lead to physical dependence and increase the risk of overdose.

Comprehensive care and treatment are essential for individuals struggling with lean addiction. Treatment options may include:

  1. Detoxification to safely manage withdrawal symptoms
  2. Medications to address cravings and reduce the risk of relapse
  3. Counseling and therapy to address underlying issues and develop coping skills
  4. Support groups for ongoing support and encouragement
  5. Behavioral therapies to modify drug-seeking behaviors and promote long-term recovery

It is crucial for individuals seeking help for lean addiction to consult with healthcare professionals who specialize in addiction medicine.

dangers of lean misuse

The Risks and Consequences of Codeine Misuse

Codeine misuse can have severe health risks and consequences. When codeine is misused, it can lead to:

  • Brain damage: Prolonged codeine misuse can result in damage to the brain, affecting cognitive function and overall neurological health.
  • Dizziness: Misuse of codeine can cause feelings of lightheadedness and unsteadiness, increasing the risk of accidents and falls.
  • Redness in the arms, face, and neck: Codeine misuse may cause flushing and redness in these areas of the body, indicating potential circulatory problems.
  • Shortness of breath: Individuals who misuse codeine may experience difficulty breathing, which can lead to respiratory complications.
  • Heart-stopping: In extreme cases, codeine misuse can result in an irregular heartbeat or cardiac arrest, posing life-threatening risks.

The addition of promethazine, a sedative commonly combined with codeine, can further escalate these risks. Misusing codeine can also lead to addiction and dependence, making it challenging for individuals to quit or reduce their use without professional help.

Detoxification and professional treatment are often necessary to address codeine misuse and its associated consequences. Seeking medical support and counseling can provide individuals with the tools and resources needed to overcome codeine addiction and regain control of their health and well-being.

The Need for Comprehensive Care and Treatment for Lean Addiction

Overcoming lean addiction requires comprehensive care and treatment. It is essential to seek professional help to address the physical, psychological, and emotional aspects of addiction. The treatment options for lean addiction are tailored to meet the individual’s unique needs and circumstances.

Medical professionals play a crucial role in the treatment of lean addiction. They may prescribe opioid treatment medications, such as buprenorphine or methadone, to reduce withdrawal symptoms and address dependence. These medications can help individuals stabilize their condition and transition into a drug-free lifestyle.

Detoxification is often the first step in treatment for lean addiction. It involves safely managing the withdrawal symptoms as the body eliminates the substances from its system. Medical supervision during detoxification ensures the individual’s safety and minimizes discomfort.

Once detoxification is complete, counseling and therapy become integral parts of the treatment process. Through individual and group therapy sessions, individuals can address the underlying issues that contribute to their lean addiction. They can develop coping strategies, learn healthy ways to manage stress, and explore healthier alternatives to substance abuse.

Support groups are also valuable resources for individuals recovering from lean addiction. These groups provide a sense of community and understanding, allowing individuals to connect with others who have similar experiences. Participating in support groups can offer guidance, encouragement, and accountability to maintain long-term recovery.

Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can help individuals identify and change harmful patterns of thinking and behavior associated with lean addiction. These therapies enable individuals to develop healthier habits, build resilience, and prevent relapse. The goal is to empower individuals with the skills and tools necessary to maintain a drug-free lifestyle even after the completion of treatment.

Treatment Options for Lean Addiction

Treatment Option Description
Medical Detoxification Supervised process to manage withdrawal symptoms safely.
Opioid Treatment Medications Prescribed medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms and address dependence.
Counseling and Therapy Individual and group therapy to address underlying issues and develop coping strategies.
Support Groups Community-based support for individuals recovering from lean addiction.
Behavioral Therapies Therapies to identify and change harmful patterns of thinking and behavior.

Seeking professional help is crucial in managing lean addiction and achieving a drug-free lifestyle. With the right treatment and support, individuals can overcome lean addiction and reclaim their lives.

comprehensive care for lean addiction


Lean, also known as purple drank, poses significant dangers due to its composition of prescription-strength cough medicine containing codeine, mixed with soda and candy. This concoction, popularized in hip-hop culture and mainstream media, has sedative effects but also comes with serious health risks.

Misuse of lean can lead to addiction and a range of adverse effects, including brain damage, seizures, irregular heartbeat, and even death. It is concerning that lean’s normalization and increased use are evident not only in popular culture but also on social media platforms like Instagram, where codeine misuse is often associated with alcohol, cannabis, and benzodiazepines.

Addressing the growing problem of lean addiction requires a multifaceted approach. Public health efforts should focus on countermessaging and prevention programs to educate the public about the dangers and risks of lean misuse. Additionally, treatment options for lean addiction, such as detoxification, medication, counseling, and support groups, should be readily available to those in need of comprehensive care.

By raising awareness, promoting prevention efforts, and providing accessible treatment options, we can mitigate the harm caused by lean misuse and help individuals overcome their addiction, leading to healthier and brighter futures.


What is lean?

Lean, also known as purple drank, syrup, sizzurp, or barre, is a concoction made by mixing prescription-strength cough medicine containing codeine, soda, and hard candy.

What are the ingredients in lean?

Lean primarily consists of codeine, an opiate painkiller, and promethazine hydrochloride, an antihistamine with sedative properties. Some variants may also include alcohol.

What are the effects of lean on the body?

When consumed, lean can induce sedation, euphoria, nausea, dizziness, impaired vision, memory loss, hallucinations, and even seizures.

How prevalent is the use of lean?

The exact prevalence of lean use is not well-studied, but a survey at a large public university found that approximately 6.5% of college students reported ever using lean.

Are there any health risks associated with lean misuse?

Yes, lean misuse can pose serious health risks, including brain damage, irregular heartbeat, blood pressure changes, dry skin, breathing problems, and even coma or death.

What efforts are being made to address lean misuse?

Public health efforts, including countermessaging campaigns, prevention programs, and stronger regulations on the sale and accessibility of codeine cough syrup, are being implemented.

How does codeine misuse intersect with social media?

Social media platforms like Instagram provide insights into trends and narratives related to codeine misuse, with many images depicting codeine combined with soda, a common form of lean.

What are the risks and consequences of codeine misuse?

Codeine misuse can result in severe health risks, including brain damage, dizziness, shortness of breath, and even heart-stopping.

What treatment options are available for lean addiction?

Treatment options for lean addiction include detoxification, medication, counseling, therapy, support groups, and behavioral interventions.

What are the main takeaways about lean?

Lean is a dangerous concoction consisting of codeine cough medicine, soda, and candy. Its misuse can lead to addiction and serious health consequences. Public health efforts and comprehensive care are essential to address lean misuse.