What Is Purple Drank?

What is purple drank? Learn about this drug, its side effects, and where to get addiction treatment.

Table of Contents

What Is Purple Drank (Lean)?

Purple drank, also known as lean, is a recreational drug that involves mixing cough syrup, a carbonated soft drink, and hard candy. Purple drank gets its name from cough syrup, as it usually is a purple color. Other names include purple lean, sizzurp, dirty sprite, and lean drink.
what is purple drank

Contact Profound Treatment to Learn More

Our team is standing by to discuss treatment options with you. Your call is completely confidential and no obligation is required.

What Does Purple Drank Do?

The cough syrup in lean is the main ingredient and is typically a combination of codeine and promethazine. Cough syrup containing these two ingredients is usually only obtainable through a prescription, as codeine is classified as an opioid, and promethazine is an antihistamine.
The effects purple drank has on the body commonly include euphoria and an out-of-body experience. For added and enhanced effects, alcohol is another ingredient commonly mixed in lean; however, the risk of overdose and adverse side effects increases when mixing cough syrup and alcohol.

Is Purple Drank Addictive?

Purple lean can become addicting due to the codeine found in the cough syrup. Codeine is an opioid labeled with a high potential for abuse and dependency by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). As a result, lean addiction can be very serious and lead to severe symptoms. In 2020, a national survey found that 0.9% of people in the U.S. misused codeine. 1
Additionally, research suggests that promethazine has misuse potential. For instance, one study found that 53.6% of adverse promethazine drug reaction cases were caused by drug abuse, and 21% were caused by intentional misuse. 2

Purple Drank in Adolescents

Purple drank became popular due to it being glamourized in pop culture and among celebrities, which has increased consumption among teenagers. Prescription opioid use, such as codeine, has been an ongoing issue, especially among teens and young adults.
One study found that 55.7% of adolescents obtained prescription opioids from friends or relatives, 25.4% from the healthcare system, and 18.9% through other means.3

How Long Does Purple Drank Stay in Your System?

How long the cough syrup in lean stays in your system depends on several factors, including the dosage, your age, weight, metabolism speed, and how often you are using purple drank. The way medical professionals test for purple drank in the system is to test for codeine.
There is no specific drug test or timeline for purple drank; however, there is an estimated detection window for codeine. The estimated time it takes lean to exit the system is noted below.
  • Urine: Two to three days
  • Blood: Up to twenty-four hours
  • Saliva: One to four days
  • Hair follicle: Two to three months

Purple Drank Side Effects

Aside from the sought-after lean side effects, such as euphoria and relaxation, there are many less desirable and dangerous outcomes. Some of these more severe purple drank side effects include:
  • Drowsiness or extreme
  • sedation
  • Headache
  • Slowed or irregular heart rate and lower blood pressure
  • Decreased body temperature
  • Dry mouth
  • Dental decay
  • Constipation
  • Mental impairment
  • Lack of coordination and balance
  • Impaired vision
  • Memory loss
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of consciousness
If you suspect you or someone you know has overdosed on purple drank, seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 or the national toll-free Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222. It is crucial not to wait if you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of an overdose, as it can result in death.

Withdrawal Symptoms of Purple Drank

Lean withdrawal can be difficult and extremely uncomfortable, though often not dangerous or life-threatening. Nonetheless, complications from the withdrawal of purple drank can occur depending on symptoms. For example, withdrawal may include vomiting and diarrhea, leading to dehydration.
Due to the opioid nature of the codeine in the purple syrup, continued use and overuse can lead to a lean addiction. Therefore, when someone suddenly stops consuming purple drank, they may experience withdrawal symptoms such as:
  • Gastrointestinal issues, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint and back pain
  • Sleep difficulties, including insomnia
  • Goosebumps
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sweating and chills
  • Irregular blood pressure and heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation

If you are experiencing difficulty due to withdrawal from lean, it is important to seek support and medical guidance. Contact your medical provider if you are experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms.

Can Overdose Purple Drank Kill You?

Consuming purple drank increases the risk of overdose, which can be dangerous and life-threatening. A lean overdose can occur by ingesting an amount larger than the body can metabolize or after stopping lean consumption for a period of time and then using it again at the same dose used previously. At that time, the body is no longer used to or has a tolerance for the drug, increasing the likelihood of an overdose.

Opioids are commonly linked to drug overdoses and overdose deaths due to their high potential for abuse, dependency, and addiction. As an opioid, the codeine in purple drank means an overdose can occur and comes with the risk of death. In 2020, overdose deaths caused by prescription opioids, including codeine, reached 16,416. 4

lean purple drank

Indications of Overdose

Some signs of an overdose of purple drank include:
  • Small or pinprick pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Cold and clammy skin that almost looks blue
  • Extreme sedation or loss of consciousness
  • Mental confusion and agitation
  • Dizziness and loss of balance and coordination
  • Drop in heart rate and blood pressure

Purple Drank and Alcohol

While adding alcohol to purple drank may increase its effects, it also has the potential to cause more severe symptoms such as:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Organ damage
  • Coma
  • Death

Purple Drank and Other Substances

Along with the dangers of adding alcohol to a lean purple drink, other substances, including over-the-counter medication, can also have a negative effect when combined with lean. Some combinations of purple lean with other substances can even result in death.

Get Treatment for Purple Drank Addiction at Profound Treatment

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to lean or purple drank, Profound is here to help! Profound Treatment offers evidence-based and holistic treatment programs, such as detox and inpatient care, for a variety of addiction and mental health disorders. We provide individualized care to ensure you receive the treatment you need to recover successfully.

For more information about our treatment programs and resources or to talk to an admissions specialist, contact Profound today at 310.929.9546

Start your healing today>>
phone number (310) 929-9546