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What is Purple Drank? What Are Its Side Effects?

What is Purple Drank? What Are Its Side Effects?

What is Purple Drank & What Are Its Side Effects

As a Boca recovery center, we know that some people will take just about anything to get high.

While some people turn to hard drugs like cocaine or heroin, others may raid their medicine cabinet. Although prescription drugs have valid medical purposes, some can be dangerous if abused as well as addictive with continued misuse. Without a pill detox, some people may eventually turn to harder drugs as well. Until that point, instead of trying to get drugs off the streets, some people will get crafty with questionable ingredients at home. One result was the creation of the “purple drank” drug.

What is Purple Drank?

Purple drank, also commonly known as lean drug, is a nickname for a recreational drug concoction made from a large amount of prescription cold medication combined with soda, or sometimes alcohol, and hard candies for flavor and color. Typically, the cold medicine is one that contains codeine, which requires a prescription. This type of cough medicine also tends to be purple in color and how the drug got its name. The drug gained popularity in recent years because of its association with celebrities.

Numbers on the abuse of purple drank are unknown, but one survey found that in 2019, 3.2% of 8th graders had abused nonprescription cough medicine in the last year.1 For those that can get their hands on prescription cold medicine, it is not a far reach. Although this lean purple drink is made from a prescription drug, the purple drank side effects can be dangerous.

Purple Drank Effects

While purple drank is made mostly from prescription cold medicine, it is not as innocuous as many people would believe. The lean drug effects can range from mild to severe depending on both the dosage, as well as individual differences among users. Along with the euphoric high that many drug users crave, purple drank can lead to some unpleasant side effects.

Some possible purple drank effects include:
  • Euphoric rush
  • Dissociation
  • Slowed sense of time
  • Slurred speech
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Dental health problems
  • Addiction
  • Overdose
Because the ingredients and dosage can vary from each purple drank concoction to the next, this drug can be a lot more damaging than people realize. Overdose, as well as health complications, are a very real and dangerous possibility, especially when lean drug is combined with other drugs or alcohol as the effects can be unpredictable.

Be careful when picking your poison because, in the end, drug combinations of any kind can be dangerous and addictive. If you find it hard to stop abusing drugs or drug combinations, our residential drug treatment in Boca could be what you need to get away and focus on quitting. With 24-7 care, you could finally move past this substance abuse.

If you struggle with addiction, stop waiting to get help. To learn more about us at Banyan Boca or to get started on the road to recovery, call us today at 888-280-4763..


  1. NIH- Monitoring the Future Study: Trends in Prevalence of Various Drugs
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
What is Purple Drank? What Are Its Side Effects?
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