Purple Drank Addiction

Last Updated: Feb 24th 2020

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Purple Drank Addiction

Purple drink, or drank, is a beverage that might seem harmless. In reality, the drink is incredibly addictive and can cause countless health problems. If you or someone you care about drinks purple drank, learn more about how to recognize and treat it.

The Ingredients in Purple Drank

Just like the name suggests, this drink is purple in color. It’s made up of four primary ingredients: Cold medicine, Sprite, ice and Jolly Rancher candies.

This combination makes the drink both a slight upper, because of sugar, and a slight downer. The cold medicine used is prescription strength, and it contains codeine. This makes so-called purple drinks, also known as sippin’ syrup, a narcotic.

Why People Drink This Dangerous Beverage

Given the extreme side effects and the potential for addiction, the popularity of this drink seems strange. Most people drink the beverage in order to experience a high. There’s absolutely no medical benefit to consuming these drinks, even if they contain cold medicine.

The drink typically makes people feel very woozy. Users might sway back and forth, and it can be difficult for them to stand or walk without leaning from side to side. That’s why one of the common nicknames for the drink is lean.

Other people drink this concoction because they think it’s somehow less dangerous than other types of drugs. In reality, purple drinks are still a narcotic. Since they’re mixed in small batches, their potency is never stable. That means an even bigger risk for an overdose.

Side Effects of Consumption

Aside from the woozy feelings and instability, purple drank can lead to a number of side effects. Some of these effects are short-term and physical, but they can also be long-term or even psychological.

Right away, consuming the drink can lead to some unpleasant and undesirable side effects. For example, many users report uncontrollable eye movement. It may also be very difficult to keep the eyes open, and blurry vision is possible. Even slurred speech is likely after drinking the mixture.

More seriously, purple drinks can slow down the heart. This drug can lead people to feel drowsy, but a short nap might turn out to be the beginning of a coma. Additionally, it can cause urinary retention, kidney damage and dental problems.

Recovering From Purple Drink Addiction

Consuming purple drank is substance abuse, and people can become addicted. That means recovery requires treatment, just like for any other drug addiction. Fortunately, drug detox followed by rehab can be effective.

During rehab, patients learn why they turned to such a dangerous beverage in the first place. One-on-one sessions can also reveal how to prevent it from happening again. Treatments might include:

  • Family therapy
  • Music and art therapy
  • Individual talk therapy
  • Dual diagnosis care for co-occurring disorders
  • Relapse prevention education

With help, you can overcome an addiction to purple drank. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, you can choose a program to help you achieve recovery. Work toward sobriety by calling (855) 425-4846.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.