Imodium being used for more than just diarrhea

Experts have noted that the anti-diarrhea drug Imodium has recently been used to give people a heroin-like high
By Jason Spencer | May 07, 2016
An over-the-counter drug that is regularly used to help fight against diarrhea is taking America by storm when it comes to getting people high. And users are getting rather creative with how they take many pills at one time to induce the heroin-like high.

According to the Watertown Daily Times, recently the anti-bacterial drug Imodium has been purchased for a reason that goes beyond loose stool. Dr. William D. Eggleston of the Upstate New York Poison Center noted that the calls they've received related to overdosing on Imodium are nearly seven times higher than they were in recent years.

"Most people don't recognize, because it's an over-the-counter-drug, that Imodium is an opioid just like morphine or heroin," said Eggleston. "So, if someone takes the right number of Imodium, they will experience that heroin-like high."

Eggleston noted that the way users were taking the drug, which included blending anywhere from 40 to over 400 with a different combination of fruits to make a smoothie, was alarming because the drug contains a cardiac toxin. While the suggested amount is only enough to get you through diarrhea and won't have averse side effects, too many can result in abnormal heart rhythms, making it a dangerous drug to play with.

Easy access to the drug and how potent it can be make it that much more appealing to drug users.

"Right now, I can go on Costco's website and buy about 400 tablets for a few dollars," he said. "[The problem] has really just recently exploded."

Because of this, Eggleston advocates for the removal of Imodium from shelves so that it can be placed behind the counter, meaning people would need a prescription from their doctor in order to purchase it. Director of the Alliance for Better Communities Anita K. Seefried-Brown expresses the same sentiments.

"It really is for the protection of the community as well as for the protection of the individuals who may be abusing these medications," she said.

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