Addicts Self-Treating Withdrawal with Imodium
A piece published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine finds that people are buying the over the counter medication Imodium to use to either get high or help treat withdrawal. The medication is made with an ingredient called loperamide, which has a euphoric effect. People are gravitating towards this product due to its low cost and easy accessibility.
The piece focuses on two case studies of patients using this medication to try to self-treat their opioid addictions. Both of the patients misused the medications and ended up overdosing and being taken to emergency departments. Despite being treated with Narcan and resuscitation, both patients passed away.
It was also noted that postings about this drug increased drastically between the years 2010 and 2011. Most of these posts were people discussing using the medication to self medicate during withdrawal, while others were using it to get high. The Upstate New York Poison Center also saw a 71 percent increase in calls related to this drug between 2011 and 2015.
This is not the first time people have purchased over the counter medications in hopes of getting high. Many people often buy cough syrup and abuse that to feel the effects from its key ingredient dextromethorphan.