What Is In Lean?

What Is In Lean?

The drug lean started becoming popular in Houston in the 1990s. Since then it has become popular all across the United States, and is also now used in other countries around the world. In this blog, we look at what is in lean.

If you are addicted to lean and need support, do not hesitate to contact Samarpan Recovery. We help drug users like you to recover from many different opioids, including lean.

What Exactly Is In Lean?

While lean may contain other substances besides those in this list, these ingredients are what is in lean typically. These ingredients are mixed in varying degrees, meaning you can never be sure how strong lean is unless you prepare it yourself.


Codeine is an opioid medication that is a central component of lean. It is usually found in prescription-strength cough syrups, though it also comes in codeine tablets, either alone or combined with paracetamol or ibuprofen.

Codeine is classified as an opioid analgesic, and it works by binding to specific receptors in the brain and spinal cord, reducing the perception of pain and producing a sense of relaxation.


Promethazine is an antihistamine often combined with codeine in prescription cough syrups. It has sedative effects, enhancing the calming properties of codeine. Promethazine is used medically to treat allergy symptoms, nausea, and motion sickness.


The codeine-promethazine mixture is typically combined with a soda, providing a flavored and sweet base for the drink. Clear sodas are often preferred for their appearance, allowing the purple color of the codeine-promethazine mixture to be more visually pronounced.


Some variations of lean may include the addition of hard fruit-flavored candies like "Jolly Ranchers" or "Skittles." This addition is more for aesthetic purposes and does not significantly alter the effects of the drug.

Lean In Hip-Hop Culture

The use of codeine-based cough syrups for recreational purposes gained momentum in the 1990s, particularly in the southern United States. Houston, Texas, is often credited as the birthplace of the lean phenomenon, with the city's rap scene playing a significant role in its popularization.

Artists such as DJ Screw, a prominent figure in Houston's hip-hop community, is often associated with the early adoption of lean. His "chopped and screwed" remixing style, characterized by slowed-down beats and repeated phrases, became synonymous with lean drinking.

As lean gained popularity within hip-hop circles, it became a symbol of a certain lifestyle. Numerous artists began incorporating references to lean into their lyrics, contributing to its cultural significance. Artists like Pimp C, Three 6 Mafia, and Lil Wayne all popularized lean through their music.

The rise in popularity of lean came with tragedy. Several high-profile cases, including the deaths of DJ Screw and rapper Pimp C, brought attention to the potential dangers of lean consumption. These incidents sparked public awareness and prompted discussions about the risks associated with abusing prescription medications.

How Much Does Lean Cost?

In its early years, lean was relatively inexpensive and accessible. Codeine-based cough syrups were available over-the-counter, making them easily obtainable to opioid users. These users could buy lean for less than 100 dollars per pint. This accessibility contributed to the initial rise in popularity.

As the recreational use of codeine-containing cough syrups gained attention, regulatory bodies responded by tightening restrictions. Many formulations that included codeine and promethazine became prescription-only medications. This regulatory shift aimed to curb the misuse of these substances and address public health concerns associated with their recreational use.

The transition from over-the-counter availability to prescription-only impacted the cost of lean. Lean now costs over 1000 dollars per pint, making it prohibitively expensive to most people. Users now drink this drug as a status symbol, due to its high cost.

Dangers Of Lean

There are many dangers of lean. If you drink lean, you should be aware of these. Remember that the longer you drink lean, the more likely you will be to encounter one or more of these issues.


The main active ingredient in lean is codeine, which is an opioid. Opioids act on receptors in the brain producing a high. When someone uses lean on a regular basis, dependency can develop, where the user begins to feel they cannot function properly without taking lean.

Over time, addiction develops, meaning the user cannot stop using lean by themselves. Once addiction has set in, it is incredibly difficult to free yourself. Many lean users are only able to stop using by attending an addiction treatment centre.


While codeine is not as strong as opioids like heroin and fentanyl, it still comes with the risk of overdose. Users may suffer cardiac arrest or choke on their vomit while in drug-induced sleep.

Lean preparations being of varying strengths increases the risk of death through lean use. Lean carries a greatly increased risk of death when it is combined with other substances, like Xanax, alcohol or cocaine.

Health Problems

Over time, lean use can cause serious health problems. Due to the large amount of sugar found in codeine syrups and in fizzy drinks, lean users can develop diabetes. There is no cure for diabetes, meaning diabetes sufferers must eat a restricted diet and/or take medication for the rest of their lives.

Consistent codeine abuse can also affect the kidneys and liver, leading to kidney and liver disease. This may sometimes be irreversible. Codeine can also cause gastrointestinal problems, partly due to codeine-induced constipation.

Anxiety, depression and other mental health problems can develop or become more pronounced due to lean use. This can cause lean abusers to become trapped in a cycle of drug abuse, where they feel relief from the effects of their mental health issues through using lean, while the lean itself causes their mental health problems.

People who use lean may only realize the damage they have done to their psyche once they stop using the drug. Mental health issues related to lean are usually reversible, though it is important to stay clean to allow your brain to recover. Psychiatric interventions can help accelerate the brain recovery process.

Overcoming Lean Addiction With Samarpan Recovery

While lean has been glamorized by hip-hop culture, the realities of lean abuse are far from glamorous. What is in lean is often suffering and despair, especially if you are a chronic user.

If you are stuck in addiction to lean and want to find your way out, contact Samarpan Recovery today. Our team is waiting for your call.

Samarpan is a specialized international Substance Use Disorder (De-Addiction) and Process Addiction rehab in Pune, India that accepts a maximum of 26 clients. We only accept clients on a voluntary basis and have a highly structured program that encompasses the most effective approaches to Substance Use Disorder and addiction. The facility is set in the rolling hills Mulshi, with clients having either individual or shared rooms, in a modern resort-like facility, staffed by Internationally Accredited Professionals. Samarpan is fully licensed under The MSMHA and is also an accredited GORSKI-CENAPS Centre of Excellence offering a program from 5 to 13 weeks.

If you or someone you care about is considering treatment for substance use disorder or process addictions, we can help. Contact us now on admissions@samarpan.in or phone/WhatsApp us on +91 81809 19090.

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