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

Growing concerns over opioid addiction
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.

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