Recently a number of people have turned to anti-diarrhea medication as a way to either handle their withdrawal symptoms with their opioid addiction, or to get high when they have no other option. Specifically between the years 2011 and 2015 the Upstate New York Poison Control Center saw the abuse of many anti-diarrhea medication rise as much as having a seven fold increase. All these medications contained the drug Loperamide. Loperamide is an opioid that is most commonly known for the treatment of diarrhea. Though for addicts of opioid painkillers and heroin, it is just another means for them to get their fix in desperate times.
How Loperamide Works
When Loperamide is taken as prescribed it will not provide any sort of euphoria simply because the doses are so low and very little is actually absorbed within the blood stream. The majority of the drug is broken down in the liver, never making it to the brain to trigger any of the opioid receptors. However, when someone takes one hundred or more pills it is possible to get a high from the drug because of the toxic levels that are then present in their body. Taking so many of these anti-diarrhea medications can cause abnormal heart rhythms which can also end up resulting in an overdose.
Need for Regulation
The accessibility of anti-diarrhea substances containing the opioid is far more easy to get in a time of need for an addict than anything else. It’s a generally low cost, that can be found in most drug stores and therefore just easy to be abused. As people who struggle with addiction or loved ones of those who do, this is just another example of how the power of addiction can take hold of someone’s life. It would not be hard for pharmacies and stores to begin the regulation of medications that contain Loperamide. To many it may appear as an inconvenience, but that inconvenience could be the difference of life and death for someone else, or for someone you know. The process can be made similarly to medications such as Sudafed, which are typically over the counter but are now being regulated.
If you know someone who is struggling with an addiction to opioids and you believe they may be abusing over the counter medications that contain opioids, get them help today. Call Serenity Acres at 1-800-203-2024 to speak to a professional on how to help your loved one.