Why Is Lean Dangerous?

cough medicine

You may have heard the words Lean or sizzurp while listening to the radio or during conversations with your teen or with other young adults who you may interact with. These terms refer to a drink that is a mixture of soda and cough syrup, and in some cases, users may add other ingredients to make the drink sweeter and more appealing. Let’s take a closer look at why people consume this beverage, the impact it can have on your body and why you can become dependent on it in a relatively short period of time.

Why Do People Consume Lean?

People generally consume this beverage because it causes them to feel both euphoric and relaxed at the same time. Ultimately, it may provide those who have generalized anxiety, social anxiety or depression a way to escape their problems for a few minutes or hours. Cough syrup has codeine in it, which becomes morphine as it travels through the body and reaches the liver. Morphine blocks pain receptors, which is what typically causes a user to feel a sense of euphoria or overall happiness. Therefore, those who suffer from chronic pain may also be drawn to this drink because it may offer an easy way to obtain relief from what ails them.

The Short-Term Impact of Lean on Your Body

Within an hour or two of consuming this beverage, you will likely start to notice negative side effects such as dizziness, headaches or vision issues. Depending on how much you have had to drink, you may also start to hallucinate or begin to have seizures. You will also likely have a lower heart rate as well as difficulty breathing.

In severe cases, you will stop breathing altogether, which could put you at an increased risk of brain damage. On average, it only takes about five to six minutes form the time you stop breathing to incur irreversible damage. If you go more than 10 minutes without breathing, there is a strong possibility that you won’t wake up again.

Signs of difficulty breathing include blue lips, shallow breaths or wheezing. You should call 911 or ask someone to do so on your behalf if you notice any of these symptoms. You should also call for help immediately if you see someone else struggling to breathe or has already lost consciousness.

The Long-Term Impact of Lean on Your Body

Let’s assume that you simply had one drink at a party with friends and feel relatively normal after getting a few hours of quality sleep. While you may think that nothing is wrong, the truth is that you may have caused long-term damage to your physical and mental health.

This is primarily because opioids are highly addictive, which means that drinking this concoction is almost as bad as shooting heroin into your bloodstream. The reason why opioids are so addictive is that they literally rewire your brain so that you need it to feel normal.

Therefore, if you choose to drink this beverage again, you will need more of it to feel any type of high. If you choose to stop drinking it after a prolonged period of use, you may experience a number of negative side effects such as vomiting, bowel issues and suicidal thoughts. You will also likely experience hallucinations, seizures and other serious negative effects as you begin to detox.

Unfortunately, these aren’t the only issues that you’ll have to worry about if you decide to drink cough syrup either recreationally or on a daily basis. Since you are also consuming a significant amount of soda or candy, you will likely experience weight gain or tooth decay.

This is partially because the sugar in the soda and candy fills you with empty calories and wears down the enamel of your teeth. However, weight gain is also attributed to the fact that you will be too tired or relaxed to want to exercise or engage in any strenuous activity.

Finally, you may be susceptible to infections in your lungs and other vital organs. You will be at a higher risk for infections because codeine can have a negative impact on your immune system. Therefore, you may also be at a higher risk of colds and other health ailments until your body has a chance to recover from the abuse it has endured.

Lean Addiction May Decrease Your Quality of Life

Young people who are the most likely to try this concoction may have the most to lose from a mental health or overall quality of life standpoint. This is because it may further hamper their ability to sleep through the night, which is already compromised by the fact that teenagers and younger adults tend to have abnormal sleep habits. Therefore, if you are in high school or college, you may find it even harder to stay awake during an early morning class.

A lack of sleep may also make it harder to concentrate while studying, writing a paper or performing other tasks. Ultimately, you may find that your grades suffer, which could result in getting in trouble at home, losing a scholarship or other negative consequences. If you have a job, a lack of sleep could increase your risk of making a mistake while at work.

Depending on the type of work you do, a single error might result in bodily injury or death. It may also cause hundreds or thousands of dollars in property damage that you or your employer may be liable for paying. The financial hardship that this can cause might make it even harder to remain in school or otherwise maintain a decent standard of living.

Even if you still live at home, a lack of funds may mean that you can’t go out with friends, take vacations or do other things that young people enjoy doing. Sitting at home by yourself may create or exacerbate your anxiety, depression or overall feelings of inadequacy.

You Won’t Feel Better Until You Address Your Triggers

It’s not unheard of for people to become dependent on drugs or beverages that they tried on a whim. However, most people become dependent on drugs, alcohol or other substances because they are trying to protect themselves from anxiety, depression or other types of trauma.

If that sounds like you, the most effective way to overcome a dependency on opioids is to find the root cause of the problem and figure out healthier ways to confront it. For instance, you may benefit from going to therapy to overcome body issues or the sense of pressure that you feel to be perfect all the time.

Working with a mental health professional may give you the tools needed to confront a bully or to make better decisions when you are feeling stressed. A therapist may also help you realize that everyone has insecurities and that failing at something doesn’t make you a worthless person.

There is also a chance that an undiagnosed medical condition is causing you to feel as if you don’t belong or that you need to drink codeine to feel better about yourself. In such a scenario, taking medication can help you to feel better or at least reduce the urge to use substances that aren’t healthy for you.

You should understand that drinking codeine may be a sign that you have an addictive personality in general. Therefore, any coping mechanisms that you learn in your quest to overcome this issue may help you avoid becoming dependent on drugs or engaging in other destructive behaviors such as gambling or infidelity.

If you are ready to get help for a codeine addiction, the folks at Long Island Treatment Center are ready to provide the assistance that you need. We have a variety of treatment plans that are designed to fit your needs, budget and recovery timeline. Therefore, whether you are beginning the process of detoxing or simply need a little help staying on the path to sobriety, don’t hesitate to contact Long Island Treatment Center today.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Long Island Treatment Center

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