Bow Wow recalls former lean addiction that led to hospitalization

Bow Wow opened up about his past addiction to lean — a combination of codeine and promethazine — during his recent appearance on The Art of Dialogue podcast. He revealed he was heavily using the substance while recording and promoting his joint project with Omarion, 2007’s Face Off.

“I was on lean. I was sipping so much syrup,” he shared. “I was drinking that s*** 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****** mind. That lean s*** had me f***** up. I was just always irritated.”

He said he grew a dependency on the substance, drinking “all day long,” and was eventually hospitalized.

“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,” Bow recalled. “I went straight to Cincinnati University Hospital. My stomach was so f***** up that I ended up going back home to Atlanta after the first show.”

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

Bow was forced to drop out of the tour, but his image was saved, as his late publicist released a statement citing dehydration and keeping his addiction concealed.

“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 said. 

Following the health scare, he drinks tequila and smokes weed, staying away from hard drugs. “I know my boundaries,” he said.

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