Most people are aware of the number of prescription medications available to the public. But did you know several homemade drugs are being created, sold and abused on a massive scale? One  example of a homemade drug is dirty Sprite, also known as “lean,” “purple drank,” and “sizzurp”. 

What is Dirty Sprite/Lean/Purple Drank?

Dirty Sprite is a mixed drink that contains prescription-grade cough syrup and a clear carbonated beverage, typically lemon-lime soda.

Dirty Sprite generally uses only clear carbonated soda for flavor, while lean and purple drank may incorporate a variety of sodas or candies, like Jolly Ranchers, to mask or dilute the taste of the cough syrup.

Is Lean Addictive?

Both dirty Sprite and lean contain prescription cough syrup, which is commonly a mixture of codeine and promethazine. 

Codeine is an opioid pain reliever and cough suppressant, found in a range of prescription cough medicines. Promethazine is an antihistamine that has a sedative effect when combined with codeine. 

When consumed in larger-then-recommended doses, codeine/promethazine cough syrup produces feelings of euphoria, mellowness, relaxation and numbness. 

Because it contains opioids and produces feelings of euphoria, lean and dirty Sprite are highly addictive substances. Individuals who repeatedly abuse lean are at risk of developing a physical and psychological dependence on the drug and may experience symptoms of withdrawal if they stop taking it.  

Is Lean Dangerous?

Lean and dirty Sprite are dangerous because they taste good, while containing potent amounts of narcotic and sedative drugs. This makes it relatively easy for users to drink too much and become rapidly impaired.

Potential adverse effects of lean include hallucinations, gastrointestinal dysfunction, cardiovascular issues, respiratory depression, seizures and death. These effects are often exacerbated when lean is combined with other drugs or alcohol. 

Because of its association with clubbing and nightlife, lean is often abused by adolescents and young adults, and it is associated with the untimely deaths of multiple notable celebrities. Famous rappers DJ Screw, Pimp C, Fredo Santana and Big Moe all died from health complications associated with lean abuse. 

Even famous rapper Lil Wayne found himself in the hospital as a result of lean abuse. Doctors said he almost lost his life after suffering from seizures caused by overconsumption of the drug.

Treatment for Lean Addiction

Getting help for lean and dirty Sprite addiction starts with opiate detox. Codeine itself is an opiate and has withdrawal side effects that are similar to heroin and other strong opioids. For long-term heavy abusers of lean, withdrawal symptoms can be excruciating and even dangerous, making medically supervised detox the safest option for people weaning themselves off lean and dirty Sprite addictions. 

After detox, addiction treatment continues at a rehab center. Those who undergo detox and rehab have a much better chance of overcoming addiction and achieving lasting recovery.

At Steps to Recovery, we can help you overcome your drug addiction. Whether you struggle with lean addiction, alcohol dependency or another substance use disorder, we provide the evidence-based treatment, compassionate care and long-term coping skills you need to move forward with your life.

We create unique treatment plans that cater to your individual needs and recovery goals. Some of the different programs that we provide include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Life skills training
  • Group therapy
  • Partial hospitalization program
  • Intensive outpatient program

Don’t let your addiction continue to compromise your quality of life. Reach out for help today. Call Steps to Recovery at 267.209.7312 for more information about how we can help.