What is Lean?


This is becoming popular with many teens today.  The main reason is it’s easy to get, simple to make, and not very expensive.  However it can lead to some VERY dangerous results.  Here is some information on this new trend sweeping Missouri from the people over at Solutions-Recovery-

Lean is a slang term for a recreational drug popular in the hip hop community in the southern region United States.  Lean originated in Houston, Texas.

Its main ingredient is prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine.  Cough syrup is typically mixed with ingredients such as Sprite or Mountain Dew and pieces of Jolly Rancher candy. The purplish hue of purple drink comes from dyes in the cough syrup.


Originally, the active ingredient of “lean” was cough syrup containing promethazine and codeine.

The concoction first gained popularity in the underground rap scene in Houston, Texas where musician Big Hawk said it was consumed as early as the 1960s and 1970s, becoming more widespread in the early 1990s.

Because of usage by rap artists in Houston, it became more popular in the 1990s.
In June 2000, Three 6 Mafia’s single “Sippin’ on Some Sizzurp,” featuring UGK, brought the term “purple drank” to a nationwide audience.  Three 6 Mafia’s single “Rainbow Colors” featuring Lil’ Flip pertains to the consumption of purple drank; the addition of a Jolly Rancher candy to a cup of purple drank creates a spectrum of colors, hence the name.
In 2004, the University of Texas found that 8.3% of secondary school students in Texas had taken codeine syrup to get high.

The Drug Enforcement Administration reports “busts” involving syrup across the southern United States, particularly in Texas and Florida.  As of 2011 the price of purple drank in Houston is twice the price in Los Angeles.



Usually a purple colored liquid due to the colorful die found in the cough syrup.  The overall color can change depending on the color of the Jolly Rancher candy added to the mixture.

Street Names:

Purple stuff,  sizzurp, syrup, drank, barre, purple jelly and Texas tea.

Routes of Administration


Adverse Health Effects

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Mood Changes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Stomach Pain
  • Difficulty Urinating
  • Respiratory Depression
  • Difficulty Breathing or Swallowing
  • Fast, Pounding, or Irregular Heartbeat
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Changes in Vision
  • Seizures
  • Death

Purple drank is confirmed or suspected to have caused the deaths of several prominent users. Respiratory depression is a potentially serious or fatal adverse drug reaction associated with the use of codeine. This depression is dose-related and is the mechanism for the potentially fatal consequences of overdose: respiratory or cardiac arrest. As with most CNS depressants, mixing with alcohol greatly increases the risk of respiratory failure and other complications.

You can read more of their article HERE

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