Why is lean bad for you?

Okay, so before I start, I understand this is a weird topic to choose. But I do think it is relevant because lean is a big trend in pop culture right now. For those of you that don’t know what lean is, you’re better off that way. For all intensive purposes, I am still going to tell you. Lean is a drink mixture of codeine and Sprite. It’s that simple. You would think it wouldn’t be bad because codeine helps you when you’re sick and Sprite is just good soda. Who knew something so simple could be so dangerous?


Source: https://www.npmjs.com/package/lean-web-components

The lean fad was popularized by the rap community. There have been many lean related deaths, primarily in the hip-hop/ rap industry. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The whole reason I got this idea was because an artist/ producer by the name of A$AP Yams birthday was on November 13th, and he actually passed away on January 18, 2015 due to an overdose of codeine. He was using it for recreational purposes. Another case of near death happened when rapper Lil Wayne started seizing due to consuming too much lean about a month ago. His plane had to make an emergency landing and he had to be rushed to the hospital to keep him alive. He had history of seizures in the past due to drinking lean. Hopefully by now you can see the dangerous effects of overconsumption of codeine.

A recent randomized control trial study on 61 college-aged students showed that most of the students that were prescribed codeine by their doctor said they were happy about that. Happy in a sense that now that they have it, they can do the cool thing and drink lean. This shows that not only is the use of lean popular, but people actually think highly of the drug and don’t find issues in its use. One other longitudinal study was done in a community where participation in the study was advertised through newspapers. People just had to fill out a survey about their use and symptoms they felt. What was found is that their was a correlation between the misuse of codeine and depression. It was also found that a dependence on the drug was common. According to the Addiction Center website, codeine is an opiate. This means that it is very easy to build a tolerance and eventually a dependence on the drug. Opiates are highly addictive and include drugs such as: Heroin, Oxycontin, and Morphine. Many people are often unaware of codeine’s addictive properties because it a prescribed medication. My plan with this blog is to make you just a little more aware of the issue.

So now the question is, what can we do about it? Well, honestly, not much. The best thing you can do for yourself is to stay away from lean. I wanted to educate you more about the topic because I know that its popularity is increasing and I don’t want anyones lives to be cut short by it. Overall, codeine is an opiate that, if misused, can become highly addictive. Lean has been to know to cause death due to overdose and seizures. None of us want to end up like A$AP Yams or go through what Lil Wayne continually goes through so, why take the risk?





4 thoughts on “Why is lean bad for you?

  1. tmv5147

    Great post. Really caught my attention right away cause Weezy’s my favorite and he’s prone to seizures because of his lean intake. Obviously overdose is what we see with all these rappers in pop culture and it has become a big concern. Lean has become a popular recreational drug in the rap community, you see rapper at their concerts on stage with their “double cups”. The study discussed was the reaction of how students were when they prescribed codeine. Pain killers are one of the most commonly abused drugs in today’s culture and codeine is just the liquid form. Doctors know how the body is not meant for an overdose and knows what happens when this happens, but why don’t the rappers. They are traveling city to city every night performing in front of thousands of people with who knows how many substances along with them. It would be interesting to find a study that shows why Lil Wayne suffers from seizures, is there something else that is counteracting the lean intake that causes this. Since he is such a high profile celebrity that probably will not be willing to talk about this matter, what is out there that can raise awareness. We need the Carter V Dwayne, stop this nonsense.

  2. Brian A Vargas

    Great post on a topic that needs more attention, I recently watch a documentary from Vice on the topic of lean which you can find here Viceland -the lean scene. Its not only a trend of pop culture but has been a way of life for a long time in the south, rather then having beers at barbecues they drink lean. Many of the rapers that promote it come from the south, with artist such as Lil Wayne popularizing it across the country. Though I have never tried lean being a fan of hip-hop I have heard lots about it, mainly the brand of Actavis (Preferred for its taste) who discontinued their Promethazine-Codeine in 2014 due to the amount of abuse. Now rappers glorify having Actavis, as prices for the product have skyrocketed since being discontinued, with a pint costing more the $1000 in some areas. With companies such as Actavis removing them self from the harmful culture, cartels in Mexico have been capitalizing creating their own brand named Actavisa. These knockoffs are made in Mexico under no official pharmaceutical company but by the cartel them selfs. This is also a cause for concern as one bad batch could kill hundreds of Americans. Codeine may be on the weaker end of the opiate scale but that doesn’t mean it should be played around with, you mentioned A$AP Yams who died from lean but he was also under the influence of Xanex. Combinations of drugs such as those two have become popular with our generation and has lead to many lives being loss. Rapers such as Gucci Mane have came out and admitted their addiction to lean and how it has the potential to ruin lives and landed them in jail. You said there isn’t much we can do, but voicing the facts of the matter does help. Influencers such as the A$AP Mob who once promoted the drug, dont do so as much after the death of their Co-Founder Yams. Once again great post and topic, just could have dove into the topic a bit further.

  3. Christopher Ronkainen

    Although you may have found the topic a bit weird, I found this post to be quite interesting for the reason you stated. It is very relevant in the rap industry. From my personal experiences I can understand the results about people getting excited when prescribed codeine. I have seen people I know have the same response and think… “OMG I got prescribed codeine!” Now, I think it is very important that we look into it’s side effects and I wished you would have done more talking about that. So on my own I did my own research and came across this which I think may interest you.

  4. Jen Malespina

    I really enjoyed this blog because it was attention grabbing. Blogging about lean, which has become very popular in pop culture was an interesting alternative to the boring usual science topics that people write about. Not only did it catch my eye, but i appreciate that you took the time to give insight on lean and how it has impacted specific people. If I had to make a critique it would be to go more in depth on how lean caused Lil Wayne to have these seizures.

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