What is Lean or Purple Drank?
If you or your loved one are addicted to purple drank, otherwise known as lean, you can recover with help from effective treatment.
The treatment you receive will help you stop abusing this medication-based concoction.
It will also help you remain addiction-free in the future.
Purple Drank is a common street name for an illicit substance based on prescription promethazine-codeine cough syrup.
You may also hear this substance referred to as Sizzurp, Syrup, Lean, or Purple Tonic.
In addition to cough syrup, it typically contains soda.
Certain versions of the substance also contain alcohol or hard candy.
Abuse of lean can harm you in several ways.
The two biggest risks are addiction and overdose.
Fortunately, even long-term addicted lean users can break their dependence and avoid the worst possible outcomes.
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Impact of the Promethazine in Purple Drank
Promethazine belongs to the group of medications called antihistamines. Doctors often prescribe it as a treatment for certain kinds of allergies. The medication also acts as a sedative. Among other things, this means that it can slow down your breathing. Other possible effects of promethazine use include:
- Visual or audio hallucinations
- A confused mental state
- Convulsions or seizures
- Swallowing difficulties
- Changes in your normal heartbeat
If you take too much of the medication, you can overdose. The most severe effects of a promethazine overdose are unconsciousness and complete stoppage of your breathing.
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Impact of the Codeine in Purple Drank
Codeine is a member of the opioid family of medications. On its own, it can help ease mild or moderate levels of pain. When combined with promethazine, the medication acts as a cough suppressant.
Like all opioids, codeine is potentially addictive. If you use promethazine-codeine syrup according to your doctor’s instructions, you can avoid this serious problem. However, anyone who abuses an opioid is exposed to a greater risk of addiction. Addiction occurs when you become physically and emotionally dependent on the effects of codeine.
How can you abuse the medication? You participate in codeine abuse if you:
- Take the medication without a prescription
- Take your prescribed codeine more often or in larger amounts than intended
Anyone who consumes Purple Drank is participating in medication abuse.
You can also overdose on codeine. This happens when there is too much of the medication in your system for your body to process. A severe codeine overdose can leave you with little or no ability to breathe. Unless you receive rapid medical attention, you can die once you reach this stage.
Combined Impact of the Two Substances
Abuse of promethazine-codeine cough syrup can be extremely dangerous. Why? On their own, both promethazine and codeine can trigger an overdose. When you abuse them at the same time, your risks for overdosing rise even higher. The same is true for your chances of dying during an overdose episode.
Why Do People Abuse Purple Drank?
So, why do people abuse mixed substances based on promethazine-codeine cough syrup? One main reason is the euphoria produced by the syrup’s codeine content. Euphoria is a powerful form of pleasure. When some people experience it, they want to generate that feeling again and again.
The cough syrup also has other effects that help make it a target of abuse. These effects include the painkilling impact of codeine. They also include the sedation produced by promethazine.
Symptoms of Codeine Addiction
If you are addicted to codeine, you have something called opioid use disorder (OUD). This mental health condition includes addiction to any opioid drug or medication, not just codeine. It also includes any pattern of non-addicted opioid abuse that causes serious problems in your daily life.
The idea that you have a significant mental health problem may make you feel isolated and alone. However, rest assured, there are many people affected by the same issues. Millions of Americans qualify for an OUD diagnosis.
There are 11 possible symptoms of opioid use disorder. To receive a diagnosis, you need to have a minimum of two of these symptoms within a year. If you have four or five of them, you have moderate OUD. Severe cases of the condition consist of a minimum of six symptoms.
Some of the 11 OUD symptoms point clearly toward addiction. For lean users, this includes:
- Drinking the syrup more often or in greater amounts than you mean to
- Needing to drink more and more syrup to feel its euphoric effects
- Loss of the ability to stop drinking purple drank, even though you want to
- Making abuse of this medication a central focus of your day
- Continuing to abuse the syrup even when you understand that it harms you
- Strong cravings for the syrup when doing other things
- Development of opioid withdrawal if you cut back or stop your consumption
How can you tell if you are withdrawing from codeine? Common symptoms include:
- Achy muscles
- Excessive mucus output
- Feelings of agitation or anxiety
- Frequent yawning
- Heavy sweating
- Cramps in your stomach region
- Loose bowels
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pupil dilation
If you suspect that you have OUD, talk to your doctor. It takes a medical professional to make an actual diagnosis.
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Treatments for Codeine Addiction
Modern-day treatments are available for all types of OUD, including codeine problems. That is true if you have just two symptoms of the condition, and it remains true if you have all 11 potential symptoms.
The first step required for your recovery is an end to your abuse of promethazine-codeine syrup. This takes place during a process called detox. While enrolled in a detox program, you will get the help that addresses the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. This is vital because any addicted person will experience withdrawal when stopping substance abuse.
Withdrawal is a frightening process for almost everyone. However, the professionals in your program will help you cope with any and all symptoms. Your doctor will likely prescribe medication as part of your detox plan. The list of medication options includes buprenorphine and methadone. Either of these options will help you withdraw gradually and avoid extreme symptoms. When detox is complete, you will no longer require their help.
After detox, you will be ready for an active opioid treatment program. These programs are active because they help you take the steps needed to create a sober lifestyle. Such steps include:
- Learning how to follow your treatment plan
- Increasing your desire to remain sober
- Spotting thoughts and behaviors that reinforce substance abuse
- Developing new thoughts and behaviors that don’t reinforce substance abuse
Medication and therapy both play a role in codeine addiction treatment. Buprenorphine and methadone are used and in some cases, a third medication called naltrexone is used. Forms of therapy that have been proven to be effective for those addicted to drinking purple drank include:
- Contingency management
- Family therapy
- Community reinforcement
- 12-step facilitation
These options are frequently combined in a single treatment plan.
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Get Help for Purple Drank Problems Today
Purple Drank is an addictive mixture that contains promethazine-codeine syrup as its main ingredient.
Both promethazine and codeine trigger serious health risks when abused.
In addition, codeine abuse can trigger opioid addiction.
Addiction to opioids is an acknowledged mental health condition.
You did not seek this condition out when you began drinking codeine-based cough syrup. But now that it is here, you must find a way to overcome its effects.
Help for your addiction begins in a detox program for opioid withdrawal.
This program will ease the effects of withdrawal and prepare you for the next steps in active treatment.
Lean Addiction Treatment at Pathfinders
Treatment at Pathfinders Recovery Center is where you learn how to make long-term changes that help you stay substance-free.
Medication plays a part in both detox and active treatment.
Your treatment plan will almost certainly include therapy, as well.
For effective help with codeine problems, contact Pathfinders.
No matter the source of your addiction, we help you find the best possible recovery resources.
That includes our own extensive range of opioid treatment options.