Opioid addicts overdose on Imodium in search of high - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Opioid addicts overdose on Imodium in search of high

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
(WMC) -

Millions of Americans use an over-the-counter pill to settle their stomach and stop diarrhea, but opioid addicts have found a new use for the common medication.

A new report showed Imodium AD contains a mild opiate. Abusers are now using it to get high, because it's cheaper and easier to acquire than hydrocodone or oxycodone.

When taken in massive doses--50 to 300 pills per day--Imodium AD can have a similar effect on the brain as heroin.

Pharmacists warned huge doses of the drug can have devastating effects on the body.

"Because you have to take a lot of it to get the same effects, it can cause cardiac toxicity, neurological toxicity," pharmacist Chris Gilbert said. "And so these reports you're taking about, people who have these toxicities and are even dying."

Some pharmacists said they may start keeping Imodium AD behind the counter. Pseudophedrine products, like Sudafed, were moved behind the counter after methamphetamine users started abusing them.

For more on opioid addiction, click here.

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