Addiction treatment center warns about revival of dangerous online drug challenge

An addiction treatment center for teens is warning about a revival of a dangerous social media challenge involving a cocktail of substances. In its annual report, HSE Adolescent Addiction Service writes that there’s increasing evidence that young people’s mental health is affected by their use of social media as well as by the use of substances.

The center has noticed a revival of the Lean Challenge, where nominated participants are filmed taking a potentially addictive mixture of substances. This mixture typically includes cough syrup with promethazine and codeine, mixed with carbonated lemon-lime soda and pieces of hard candy. In some instances, participants are substituting sports drinks or alcohol to create different flavors.

One major issue arises when people don’t prepare the mixture themselves, leading to a lack of control over what they’re ingesting. There are also concerns about the potential dangers when people mix codeine, alcohol, and other medications without considering the impact.

“It is essential for parents and non-parental adults to be informed about trends in relation to substance use and other issues influencing young people’s lives,” the report reads.

In addition to Lean, the cocktail is also known as Purple Drank, Dirty Sprite, and Sizzurp.