Generation of drugs: A look inside the Xanax and lean culture in hip-hop
With the mass hysteria surrounding SoundCloud rappers who rap about popping Xanax as they sip lean, it’s no surprise that the kids listening to this music have a hard time learning about mental health.
Lil Pump speaks very openly about his abuse of the powerful anxiety medication and has publicly quit on many occasions, which is terribly difficult.
According to Reddit user u/plurntometer who was forced to quit Xanax after weeks of abuse,
“The second night of my withdrawal is by far the worst night I’ve experienced in a very long time. I had muscle spasms that felt like miniature seizures, and I suffered the most vivid nightmares and sleep paralysis hallucinations ever.”
Stories like this are not uncommon with people who have used Xanax recreationally as well as those take it under a doctor’s prescription for anxiety. These people who are suffering from withdrawal often spend months recovering from their abuse and will suffer from worse anxiety than they started with.
Watch this video to get more insight into the extent of the withdrawal effects when coming off benzodiazepines.
Xanax and all other benzodiazepines are more chemically addictive than heroin and have longer lasting harder withdrawals. Xanax works on GABA receptors a neurotransmitter in the brain that is involved in sleep regulation, relaxation, and anxiety.
When stopping Xanax after abusing the medication, your brain is left without any GABA antagonist to limit brain function the receptors run wild lighting up with activity. After experiencing limited GABA function for months your brain gets used to the sedentary state and functions incorrectly.
Anxiety, panic, irritability, insomnia, sweating, headaches, muscle pain, stiffness, poor concentration, sensory distortions, nausea, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, agitation, and tremors are all potential withdrawal symptoms.
Mental health has been an issue almost every person is dealing with today, whether it’s one of your family members or a friend from school. Mental stability has become a major topic of discussion with hyper-celebrity Kanye West experiences battling his health issues and talking publicly about those experiences going through the healthcare system for mental instability.
This came to a head on TMZ when West grabbed everyone attention and spoke on his time healing saying,
“I was taking 2 pills a day at that time when I left the hospital how many pills do you think I was given? Seven, I went from taking 2 pills to taking seven.”
Kanye then went on to make his slavery comments which caused people to tie his mental battle to his comments during the TMZ interview.
On top of that controversy, the music world lost an up and coming artist to pill abuse and overdose not long before.
Lil Peep was 21-years-old when he died from taking fake Xanax bars given to him by a fan at a show. Lil Peep was posting videos of him dropping the pills into his mouth, shortly after videos were posted of him laying limp as friends walk by as if its a normal occurrence.
The late rapper was very open about his self-medication, talking about the extent of the abuse without paying it much mind, “I took 6 Xanax and I was lit.” Peep uttered these words in the video of him dropping one of the last tablets he would ever take into his mouth.
After his, passing many rappers have taken a stance against Xanax and other pill abuse popular with the fans and entertainers.
Lil Pump and Smokepurpp have both taken public stances against Xanax specifically. Lil Uzi Vert also came out publicly with his troubles quitting the medication.
Sober 2 day I have been shaking.
I have been cursing my love ones out and fighting
In the studio with no thoughts in my head
Teeth biting down because I just wanna be angry at something ……
maybe I will just smoke weed tonight ;;;;😅®
— Uzi London 🌎☄️💕® (@LILUZIVERT) November 17, 2017
The late great Fredo Santana got involved in the drug abuse discussion on Twitter after Russ posted a photograph of him wearing a shirt with “How Much Xans And Lean Do You Have To Do Before You Realize You’re A Fucking Loser.”
Fredo, who was of the first lean rappers replied with an emotional take on his own self-medication:
Until I can stop thinking bout my dead homies an the trauma that I been thru in my life that's when I'll stop 😈 https://t.co/DEPi82FvNL
— FREDO SANTANA SSR (@FREDOSANTANA300) September 12, 2017
Fredo passed away not too long after in January 2018 from seizures due to complications from lean abuse. This is all happening after the A$AP Mob founder Yams died from accidental acute mixed-drug intoxication.
The drugs found in his system were opiates and benzos, the opiate commonly known as codeine cough syrup drank recreationally as lean in large amounts, suppressing the respiratory system and slowing heart function.
— …… (@ASAPYams) January 17, 2015
The most common benzodiazepine is Xanax. It’s become a trend to rap about the medication as of late but they all seem to ignore that Yams died because of his mixing of lean and Xans.
After the loss of an OG and an up and coming rapper, the climate around drug abuse has changed, people are wising up and are learning from what they see. Lil Yachty who is known for being safe for all ages and is proud that he does not need any drugs saying,
“I don’t party, I don’t drink I don’t smoke, I just record…”
Not wanting to delve into drug use is a rare occurrence for a modern artist and seeing someone as sober as Yachty reach levels of stardom we haven’t seen before with SoundCloud rappers is amazing and inspirational to younger crowds of impressionable fans.
The same age group is the target audience for Lil Pump’s music through, which practically sound like love songs written to Pfizer about Xans.
Hopefully, more artists and their fans will follow the Lil Yachty route and understand that focus and consistency get you closer to your goals.