Advisory to Parents: ‘Lean’ is a Home Made Drug You Should Know!

There is a video which is going viral, of three boys who were stealing items from a grocery in Trinidad. In the video, they mix a cocktail of cough syrup and Sprite, to make a new home made drug that has gained popularity among young people.

That drug is named ‘Lean’.

Lean has become a popular drug amongst teens in urban culture. Commonly used ingredients are:

  • Prescription-strength cough medicine. Promethazine/Codeine based.
  • Fizzy soft drink (primarily Sprite)
  • Hard, fruit-flavored candy.

Since adolescents can make lean out of easy-to-obtain ingredients, they often get together with friends to add their favourite sodas and sweets to the cough syrup. Promethazine causes motor skill impairment, lethargy, extreme drowsiness, as well as a disassociative feeling hence the name ‘lean’. It is a powerful narcotic drug that can have serious and dangerous health effects.


  • The ingredients usually cause the drink to look purple
  • Double stacked styrofoam cups are iconic in usage (but is not mandatory)
  • Any drink (purple/deep red) in a soda bottle where that colour is unusual.

The drink originated in Houston and its popularity has been heightened by rap music from that region. For some reason (which I won’t discuss here) major labels are quite happy to flood the industry with music promoting the usage of lean ensuring its continued popularity amongst a specific demographic.

• ref: purple drank, sizzurp, dirty sprite, syrup, sippin, mud, muddy
• the waving of white styrofoam cups in videos
• the white styrofoam cups are usually doubled up or stacked
• it is a point to note that the music has become increasingly woozy, distorted, sparse and ambient (not always indicative of usage).

Get involved in your children’s culture, understand their words, listen to their music, play their video games, follow their social media trends. Do whatever it takes to remain knowledgeable. Don’t fear their culture, understand it. Their lives depend on you to pay attention.

The majority of this content was captured from design and social media professional, Christophe Pierre, who identified its use by the young men in the video, and among young people in Trinidad and Tobago.

We do not claim to be professionals in the field of medicine, health or drug abuse, but are sharing this information among our parents and adults out of an abundance of caution for the welfare of the young people under our collective care.

This drink is neither new, nor has it been declared an illegal drug, but its use has very severe consequences for its users, as indicated above.

The article above is mainly written by Mr. Christophe Pierre, with content also derived from the following links:


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