Bow Wow Opens Up About His Lean Addiction: ‘I Was Losing My F–king Mind’

Bow Wow has opened up about his former lean addiction, which led to him being hospitalized at one point.

Lean, according to the National Institutes of Health, is a combination of codeine and promethazine that is also known as “sizzurp.”

The Like Mike star recently appeared on The Art of Dialogue, where he opened up about his addiction and what forced him to eventually get clean after seeing the stranglehold lean had on his life circa 2007.

“I was sipping lean,” he said. “I was sipping so much syrup. I said this after Mac Miller died. I spoke on this s–t. I was drinking that s–t like crazy. If you go back and watch The Road to Platinum series on BET, you’ll see so many white Styrofoam cups. I was losing my f–ing mind. That lean s–t had me f—ed up. I was just always irritated.”



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Bow Wow reached a point of no return and knew something had to change after collapsing on stage one night while touring with Chris Brown.

“We were on our tour, I was co-headlining with Chris Brown, and the opening night was in Cincinnati and when I got off stage, I collapsed,” he recalled. “I went straight to Cincinnati University Hospital. My stomach was so f–ked up that I ended up going back home to Atlanta after the first show.”

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Bow continued: “I’m sitting in the hospital not knowing what the f–k going on, and I get back home and the s–t gets worse. I’m throwing up, I’m shivering in the bed, I’m sweating, I’m going through it. I didn’t know I was having withdrawals. That’s how much lean I was consuming.”

He credited his former publicist for making up an excuse of dehydration for the reason behind him dropping out of the tour when it was really because of lean.

“I had the best publicist ever, Pattie Webster,” he added. “She put out a press release [saying I dropped out] for dehydration. Wasn’t no dehydration — I was f—ed up off lean … That’s just good PR. We didn’t want the world to know that 18, 19-year-old Bow was heavy on the drank.”

Bow Wow and Soulja Boy ruminated about their days pouring up “Lean” on a track from their 2016 joint project Ignorant S–t, named after the “purple drank.” “This my first time f–king with that DJ Screw/ I can’t even stay awake, that’s what that lean will do/ Pour it out that baby bottle right into that juice/ If I take another sip of it, I am through,” Bow raps.

Watch the clip of Bow Wow detailing his lean addiction below.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with substance abuse, reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for free and confidential support 24/7. You can also call the national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).


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