I like to think I'm a fairly knowledgeable person, and one of my personal mottos is learn something new everyday. In the world we live in that is an easily attainable goal, but sometimes what we learn can be eye-opening at best, and shocking at worst.

I recently came across an entertainment article referring to the death of a young rap artist who succumbed to his "lean addiction." Because I had no earthly idea what "lean" was, or how one became addicted to it, I went searching for an answer. It only took one Google search to bring up a page full of selections.

Apparently, this narcotic concoction has been around for years and has had a major presence in the rap community. Lean (also known as sizzurp, purple drank, purple lean, dirty Sprite and syrup) according to multiple sources is a candy-flavored combination of prescription codeine cough syrup, crushed Jolly Ranchers (or any other hard candy), and soft drinks.

The combination can make users lean over, therefore the nickname "lean." The effects of this mixture are numerous and wide-ranging:

  • hallucinations
  • seizures
  • memory loss
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • impaired vision
  • death (heart and lungs stop after depression of the central nervous and respiratory systems), this is even more likely when lean is combined with other drugs and/or alcohol

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) estimates that 1 in 10 teens abused cough syrup or cold medications to get high. This included OTC (over-the-counter) products containing dextromethorphan (DXM) which have also caused deaths.

This was the "something new" I learned today and to be honest this pile of information makes me nothing but sad. But I'm sure this is not the first time, nor will it be the last.

Sources: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, USA Today, DrugAbuse 

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