What does "lean" mean on TikTok? Viral trend explained as netizens consume recreational drug

"Lean" became the new viral trend on TikTok (Image via @tiktok/Facebook and @ronaldoisbased/Instgaram)
"Lean" became the new viral trend on TikTok (Image via @tiktok/Facebook and @ronaldoisbased/Instgaram)

TikTok's algorithm is getting stricter by the day as people struggle to avoid getting banned for minuscule reasons. However, this does not mean that the app can filter out every harmful trend on the platform.

A recent trend related to a recreational drug called "lean" has gone viral on the app, gaining views by the thousands, but looking at TikTok audiences' age demographics, the trend might turn hazardous, mostly to minors.

TikTokers use purple color to signify "lean"


The term started trending after user @peeaspoo posted a few clips of anime and cartoons with a purple hue and filter. The videos have text saying "I love lean" on them. Purple signifies the color of the drink.

The first video had Naruto dancing to hip-hop music, which has received over 150.8K views and 25.6K likes.

Other users caught on to the term and started posting videos with purple filters, but there were a few who even posted recipes for the drink. This could intrigue other users to try out the drink for themselves, which poses the biggest threat to minors.

The definition and dangers of "lean"

According to Wikipedia:

"Lean, also known as purple drank, purp, or oil, and several other names, is a recreational drug beverage, prepared by mixing prescribed cough or cold syrup with a soft drink. The beverage originated in Houston, Texas, and is popular among the hip-hop culture or those who reside in the southern United States."

It provides euphoria-like symptoms and can also lead to drowsiness, lethargy, and impairment of motor skills, giving it its name, as people who drink it can't stand straight and need something to "lean" on.

The drink is basically a mixture of over-the-counter cough and cold medication (containing promethazine, codeine and dextromethorphan) and soda drinks such as Fanta, Sprite and Mountain Dew. Sometimes, a hard candy like Jolly Rancher is also added to the drink to mask the taste of the syrup.

Promethazine, codeine, and dextromethorphan are nerve and respiratory depressants that aid in cough and cold but can cause respiratory or cardiac arrest in higher doses.

So while a small amount might provide elation, higher doses can prove fatal, especially if taken with other intoxicants.

This is not the first time a dangerous trend has gone viral on TikTok. Earlier this year, a 10-year-old ended up losing her life to a trend called the "blackout challenge."

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