Opioid addicts using anti-diarrhea medication to get high, study suggests

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Growing concerns over opioid addiction

What lengths will addicts go to in order to get a fix?

Desperate ones, according to a report in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

The report claims that opioid addicts have been increasingly turning to oral loperamide – the main ingredient in Imodium A-D, a common, over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medication – to get high.

The surge in popularity is attributable to the drug's low cost and ease of procurement, the study says.

Dr. Scott Krakower, a physician who specializes in addiction disorders at Northwell Health, told CBS that an addict would have to take a huge amount of medication to get high – addicts reportedly pop 50 to 300 pills a day – but it gets the job done.

"It's an opioid agent and it helps to bind receptors in the brain and cause a similar euphoria or high," Krakower explained to CBS.

According to National Poison Center data, calls related to loperamide usage increased by 71 percent from 2011 to 2014.

Copyright 2016 U.S. News & World Report

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