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President Obama Speaks Out Against Lean



President Obama made his way to Atlanta for the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit to speak about the dangers of opioid abuse and heroin epidemic, which claims the lives of tens of thousands Americans each year.

Obama has escalated the fight against the epidemic on three fronts: expanding access to treatment, preventing overdose deaths and increasing community prevention strategies.

This includes targeting prescription cough syrup, also known as “lean” or “sizzurp.” This dangerous ingredient is called Promethazine with codeine.

“It’s important to recognize that today we are seeing more people killed because of opioid overdose than traffic accidents,” the President explained at the summit. “A lot of people die tragically from car accidents and we spend a lot of time and a lot of resources to reduce those fatalities. The good news is we have been successful. The problem is here we actually have the trajectory going in the opposite direction. So 2014, which is the last year we have accurate data for, you see an enormous ongoing spike in the number of people who are using opioids, in ways that are unhealthy, and you are seeing a significant rise in the number of people who are being killed.”

Lean is a popular beverage amongst this generation’s youth. Lean, often called “sizzurp” or “purple drank,” is a drink concoction made of Promethazine-Codeine cough syrup, Sprite and Jolly Rancher candy. The drink has its origins in the South after Houston producer DJ Screw popularized it.

Lean is especially popular amongst rappers.

Lil Herb was avid sipper of Lean.



He commented on IG he couldn’t drink anything less than four ounces and anything bigger than 20 ounces.



But those days of getting high off the drank are long gone. G Herb revealed during an interview with XXL Mag how he gave up his addiction.

“It’s really just a bunch of reasons I had for not drinking lean. I’ve been drinking lean since I was like 15,” he said. “Lean is a real drug, a very powerful drug. And I was addicted to it. It’s a mind thing. And like, I’m honest, I loved drinking lean but I was always in control. It was really just a matter of me growing up and it was really doing something to my body. Now, there’s a lot of bonuses with it like you save money. It’s a real expensive habit, you know what I’m saying? So it was really me maturing and realizing I don’t really need it and I ain’t letting nothing control me. So, I’m just trying something different. And it’s not even like a phase. I really want to go clean for like at least a year, two years so I can really get in control and meet the milestones I want to meet. Then, maybe get back into that, but not the way I was at first. I control what I do. It was my bad habit.”



Herb isn’t the only Chiraq rapper who was addicted to Lean. Sosa told fans in December 2013 that he no longer drinks the addictive beverage during a rant about his style of music.

“King Keef Has no Genre Nor Language #JusGloTalk Understand Or suck my Duck Oan I don’t sip lean nomo,” he wrote.



Chief Keef claimed to be back to “old Sosa” after pinpointing his faults in past music releases.

Sosa admitted he was no longer a fan of his last two mixtape projects “Bang 2” and “Almighty So.” He gave himself constructive criticism after attributing his low performance on those mixtapes to lean addiction and bad mixing.

“Yes I hate my own last mixtapes Cuz I was leaning and mixed them myself! Thought I Was! But I’m back No worries.



“I’m always keeping shit 300 but I stopped lean Time to turn up,” he wrote on Twitter.



Lil Boosie told TMZ lean has been destructive to the Hip Hop community.

Boosie reportedly said he nearly died three or four times from the beverage.

It’s “f*cked up a lot of rappers and the culture of Hip Hop,” Boosie said, according to TMZ.

In September 2013, Gucci Mane revealed he was battling an addiction to Lean following an infamous Twitter rant. Gucci later professed he would be entering rehab.

“I’ve been drinking lean for 10plus years & I must admit it has destroyed me. I wanna be the first rapper to admit (cont)



I’m addicted to lean & that shit ain’t no joke. I can barely remember all the things I’ve done & said. However there’s no excuse. (Cont)



I’m currently incarcerated but I will be going to rehab because I need help. I wanna thank everyone that has stood by me (cont)



during this difficult time. Please keep me in your prayers. #GUWOP



Lil Wayne suffered complications from long-term lean use of the beverage. He was rushed to the hospital in March 2013 after suffering multiple seizures.

Dr. George Fallieras, an emergency room physician and hospitalist at Good Samaritan Hospital, said codeine is an “opiate” and is in the “same family of drugs as heroin and morphine,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Fallieras commented codeine addiction is the same as heroin addiction, only without the needles. This is due to the large amounts of codeine Lean drinkers induce.

He further said it is difficult to overcome Lean addiction and likened codeine withdrawal to the worst flu possible.

“One patient said to me, ‘Imagine the worst flu when you’re shivering, you’re vomiting, you can’t eat, you have diarrhea, every atom in your body hurts, you can’t sleep, you lie on the floor just shivering … and multiply that times a million,’” Fallieras told the Times. “And you know if you can just take the pill or inject yourself with heroin, that it just all goes away.”

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