4 Things to Know About the Dangers of Imodium Abuse

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Can You Get High On Imodium?

Even though Imodium is a common over-the-counter medicine, Imodium abuse is becoming increasingly common. With the current opioid epidemic, drug users are taking this everyday medication and getting high on Imodium when opioids aren’t available [1]. Loperamide hydrochloride, sold as Imodium, treats diarrhea as an opioid agonist. Unlike other opioids, this medication doesn’t pass the blood-brain barrier to affect opioid receptors. Instead, Imodium stays in the digestion tract and slows contractions while easing diarrhea.

Used as prescribed, loperamide doesn’t provide any psychoactive effects. But users have found that when taken in huge quantities, it passes the blood-brain barrier and causes sedative and euphoric effects, like opioid drugs.

Imodium Abuse Side Effects

Individuals have to consume hundreds of Imodium pills at a time to achieve an Imodium high, putting themselves at risk for injury and death. 

Here are the Imodium abuse side effects and risks:

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Imodium for an Opiate High

So, does Imodium get you high? At very high doses, Imodium binds to opioid receptors in the brain. It works the same way as heroin, oxycodone, and other opioids, leading to an “Imodium High.” Using Imodium to get high can allure those with addiction or those suffering from withdrawal.

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Slows Down the Body’s Responses

High amounts of Imodium cause the heart, kidneys, and liver to slow down. It also stresses the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. If someone overdoses, they can experience depressed breathing, paralyzed intestines, cardiac problems, dehydration, and urine retention. Most users aren’t aware that abusing Imodium can be fatal. In fact, the National Poison Center reports a 71% increase in calls related to loperamide overdosing in 2011 to 2014.[2]

Getting Away Cheap With Imodium

Called the “poor man’s methadone,” loperamide is inexpensive and simple to find. The large doses needed to get high can range from 50 to 300 pills a day, around $10 a bottle. People with opioid addiction can abuse loperamide without draining their bank accounts. Unfortunately, just because it’s legal, doesn’t mean it’s safe.

Imodium for Opiate Withdrawal

Those addicted to opiates can take Imodium in high doses to lessen the effects of withdrawal. When taking Imodium for withdrawal and to mimic the effects of opioids, high doses are still needed. This can increase the chance of Imodium abuse causing side effects and death.

Summary: The Effects and Dangers of Imodium Abuse

Imodium abuse to get high or to minimize opioid withdrawal symptoms puts individuals in danger. Though pharmacies everywhere carry loperamide, using it for anything other than anti-diarrheal isn’t safe. Someone going through opioid withdrawal should contact a medical professional or drug-abuse counselor to help reduce symptoms of Imodium dependence in a safe environment.

If you or someone you love needs help overcoming drug abuse, contact us today or give us a call at 888-500-9279.

Learn more about addiction withdrawal and safe treatment options on our website.

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