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Addicts Now Use Anti-Diarrhea Drug To Get High

Update Date: May 10, 2016 06:41 AM EDT
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People who are addicted to drugs would normally find some form of alternative substance they can get to get high and latest reports reveal an unlikely over-the-counter drug.

In what comes as a bit of a surprise, the alleged drug is Imodium A-D, something that anyone can buy over the counter. Imodium is a known gastrointestinal medication drug that is used as anti-diarrhea medication for people who suffer from loose bowel movement.

Aside from something that people can easily get without prescription, it is also cheap and easily within reach. Imodium A-D includes a main ingredient called Loperamide pegged to slow down intestinal slowdown. When taken in large doses, the drug carries serious effects and health risks.

"It's an opioid agent and it helps to bind receptors in the brain and cause a similar euphoria or high," said Dr. Scott Krakower, a physician at Northwell Health.

So how does the drug get people high? Dr. Krakower reveals that it would take an enormous dose of the drug to get high which could mean popping pills from 50 to 300 daily. For reference, a box of Imodium A-D costs less than $10, making it a cheaper substitute to illegal drugs known out in the market.

A massive intake of Imodium A-D technically works in the same way that dangerous drugs like heroin, morphine or oxycodone does as revealed in a study. And while the 300 pill intake may sound a bit absurd, it is something that is not far from possible in the world of drug addiction.

"Folks that are desperately addicted, folks that are looking to stave off withdrawal symptoms will do whatever it takes sometimes, really extreme things," said Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds of the Family and Children's Association. "So in the scheme of things, taking 300 pills is not unheard of."

But as normal drugs do, such could put a person’s vital organs in peril. That includes excessive dosages leading to possible heart, kidney and liver problems that could lead to as far as death.

For doctors and patients who have turned to Imodium A-D as a means of addressing bowel movements, these current findings may as well be a good point to be aware of.

"Health care providers must be aware of increasing loperamide abuse and its under recognized cardiac toxicity. This is another reminder that all drugs, including those sold without a prescription, can be dangerous when not used as directed," bared William Eggleston, Pharm.D., the lead author of the study.

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