You hear about it in songs, see it in music videos and on TV, the rise of Lean in the pop culture world has almost positioned it into a household name. Made famous by rappers like Lil Wayne and Three 6 Mafia, this opioid and sprite combination has interlaced itself into the popular world of partying and having the capacity to make anyone seem like a “baller”… if you’re into that sort of thing. While all the glitz and glamour of Lean in the hip-hop scene does make it look appealing to some, it often leaves out the many glaring and dangerous side effects that are rapid, and potentially life threatening.
A Brief History of Sizzurp
The introduction of lean is said to have originated in Houston, TX in the 1960’s. What started out with a popular concoction among blues musicians in the form of Robitussin and beer, began to change shape in the 80’s and 90’s into the combination it is today, Codeine, Promethazine, and Sprite. If you remember the Three 6 Mafia song, “Sippin on some Sizzurp,” that was about the time that dirty sprite exploded onto the scene. While the music industry makes the drink out to be fun and hip, it really hides the potential dangers and side effects that the combination can inflict on the user.
The Side Effects of Lean
Many users describe the feeling of being high on lean as a euphoric one. It generally consists of two forms of opiates, so the feeling is similar to the lethargic high as with a low amount of painkillers or other opiates. The term Lean comes from the shape the body takes when the drink kicks in, most people end up leaning to either side or hunched over due to the lack of muscle control. Over an extended period of time, long-term use of Lean can wreak havoc on the respiratory system and slow the heart rate, slurr the speech, cause drowsiness, and even seizures or heart attacks. In addition, while the drug is not AS addictive, the withdraw symptoms are eerily similar to those of a heroin addiction. They usually range from sudden cold sweats, restless and painful legs, extreme abdominal cramps, to irritability, and nausea. Alongside the short-term side effects, frequent use of lean can result in the development of Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome. This syndrome primarily includes symptoms such as fever, stiff muscles, confusion, abnormal thinking, irregular heartbeat, excessive sweating, coma, and death.
Famous Experiences with Lean
The danger of sizzurp lies mostly around the fact that both Codeine and Promethazine are central nervous system depressants, which causes a slowing of breathing and heart rate. When taken in small amounts, this is what creates the euphoric feeling for users. The brain is literally lacking the amount of oxygen that it needs to function properly, resulting in the relaxation of the rest of the body. However, if the user miss-measures the amount they ingest by even a small amount, the result can be cardiac arrest or suffocation.
Many famous rappers have reported having withdraws and overdoses from sipping lean. For example, Underground Kings (UGK) rapper Pimp C was well known to drink and promote lean and had been known to use it before sleep. After many years as an advocate of the drink, he was found dead in his home. It was reported that he had died in his sleep due to lack of breathing.
Rapper Schoolboy Q has openly discussed his plan of action to quit drinking lean following suffering through months, if not years of addiction to the substance. According to his story, he has been struggling with extreme withdraw symptoms following his decision to quit, “I’ve been going through withdrawals… It’s like somebody’s grabbing your stomach… and just holding it.” In an interview with a radio station, he claims that his music hasn’t been good since his addiction got out of control.
We all know rapper Lil Wayne has promoted the use of Lean for almost a decade at this point, and many have heard about the downward spiral that his health has come into recent years. It was reported that during a flight between shows, the plane had to make an emergency landing because he had been having recurring seizures. He has been hospitalized several times due to his seizures, and the excuse of “exhaustion.”
Lean and the Younger Generation
Syrup has become a widely popular party drug among today’s youth, primarily influenced by recently discussed hip hop scene. Not to mention, the ingredients are generally simple to find, and it can be easily concealed in cups and brought into schools. The effect can be detrimental on developing brains, and the dangerous side effects can be magnetized when mixed with other substances like alcohol and party drugs like MDMA.
Freedom From Addiction
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