Four students in the Buffalo Public School District became ill recently after ingesting a drug mixture called “Lean.” According to a report, the affected 8th grade students were taken to hospital by ambulance after trying the mixture, which was brought to school by a fellow student who shared it with three friends. All four affected students were treated and released.
What is “Lean”?
“Lean” (also called “Purple Drank” or “Sizzurp”) is a homemade mixture of over-the-counter (OTC) cold medication and sleep aids mixed with soda and candy. Prescription drugs may also be used to make Lean. Kids who make these dangerous concoctions usually find instructions online.
The ingredient that creates a “high” is either the codeine in prescription-strength cough medicine or the alcohol present in an ingredient OTC cold medicines. The other major ingredient in the OTC brands is DXM (dextromethorphan), which has been abused for many years by young people and sever addicts.
Dangers of Using Lean
Young people are most likely to experiment with using Lean. It can be a dangerous experience for them because each batch being prepared is different. In an effort to try to get high, Lean users are, in effect, poisoning themselves by ingesting large amounts of cough syrup and cold medication containing other ingredients. A group of teens or younger users may not know the signs of poisoning and be mature enough to call for help if someone in their group needs immediate medical attention.
Someone who starts using Lean regularly as an adolescent or teen may be on the slippery slope toward an addiction to codeine, or lead them to seek out other drugs.
Codeine is an opiate. Although it is in the same category as morphine or oxycodone, it is not considered as strong as either of these two medications. Codeine is used to treat pain or suppress coughs.
When taken at a higher than recommended dose or for an extended time, codeine can be addictive. Over time, a person will develop a tolerance for codeine and need to take higher more to get the same effect from the drug.
It is important for parents, teachers and other mentors to take notice of these kinds of behaviors among growing teens, as the problems will likely escalate into more serious substance abuse issues. If you have a loved one in need of treatment, contact us today for more information about our successful recovery program, whether you are from New York or any other part of the country.