(Mirror Daily, United States) – Between 2011 and 2015, the Upstate Medical University has registered a seven-fold increase in calls concerning Imodium abuse as well as other types of antidiuretic medications which contain the drug loperamide according to a clinical toxicologist, Dr. William D. Eggleston, from the Upstate New York Poison Center.
According to him, most people are oblivious to the fact that this over-the-counter drug is an opioid just like heroin or morphine. The ones that take a certain number of Imodium pills are going to experience the high typical of heroin.
Still there is a difference between Imodium and the other two. A correct medication will not bring any harm. Our bodies are not able to absorb loperamide as quickly as other opiates. Therefore, many addicts take dozens or even hundreds of pills just to experience the effects similar to heroin. Plus, this is not an exaggeration. Dr. Eggleston stated that he had patients who would take 40 to 50 pills and others up to 300 – 400 which is much worse and therefore dangerous.
In addition to this, Imodium can be toxic to the cardiac system, meaning that after taking such a large amount of pills heart rhythms become abnormal, possibly even leading to death.
Furthermore, the biggest problem consists of the fact that this drug is cheap and also legal. A few hundred tablets cost around a few dollars, which encourages addicts to play with their lives. Some even started to mix Imodium with Prilosec, a heartburn medication based on omeprazole, to make the absorption into the bloodstream faster with dangerous consequences as Dr. Eggleston explains.
His suggestion would be to move these two drugs behind the counter, and to sell them to patients only with a medical prescription. Only in Watertown, more than 15 individuals died last year after a heroin dose according to the statistics made by the Alliance for Better Communities.
Hence, many communities, especially from the medical field, are ready to take action to ensure that loperamide and omeprazole will be available in groceries, pharmacies and convenience store only with a prescription.
According to Lt. Joseph R. Donoghue Sr., Watertown City Police Detective, the authorities are ready to take measures because certainly there are still people around abusing Imodium.
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