What to Look for When Trying to Find an Opiate Addict?

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on What to Look for When Trying to Find an Opiate Addict?
Dec 142017
 

When you are trying to lookout for an opiate addict, it might not be as hard as it seems. Unlike other addictions, opiate has this obvious vibe around the addicts. There are withdrawal symptoms as the addict has been trying to control or hasn’t had an opportunity to take his dose. This pushes them to the extent of social margins there is lack of responsibility towards anything and everything. When pain killers become candies, it’s time to take away the kid’s candy. There isn’t any specific way you can find out but you can keep an eye on your loved ones. Here’s a guide to understanding opiate addiction better.

  • Mood swings/ psychological symptoms:

The most obvious ones are the changes in behavioral pattern as they are easy to spot. Increased irritability, sudden depression or general anxiety are the basics. A person with opiate addiction can have many folds of psychological changes. Anxiety attacks are very prevalent and anti-anxiety tranquilizers don’t help; instead increase the need.

  • Physical symptoms:

These are another easily spottable symptoms. A person with a considerable amount of substance abuse, especially opiate addict is bound to undergo physical changes. There are changes like increased energy and heart rate, improved alertness, high blood pressure, decreased appetite, over arousal, sleeping disorder and hyper-vigilance. These are pretty harmful as not sleeping and eating can do long term damage which has a lasting effect. The drug cycle kills a man way before time. It effects the body in a bad way and the lasting effect does no good.

  • Behavioral Symptoms:

These are another kinds of symptoms though an addict at times can be great at hiding things. The lack of awareness and social stigma has made it almost impossible for a person to be able to open up about his issues. There are times when an addict is aware of his/her condition and needs help but the prejudices bind him from speaking up. Precisely why they introduced art therapy, so that a person gains confidence before being thrown in front of strangers. There are symptoms like avoiding social and personal responsibilities, the air of unease and always looking for something.

  • Overdose:

When you find a friend or a loved one trying to overdose a medicine or taking medicines that were not prescribed, it’s an alarm and you should take charge. The need to stop the pain and give your brain a certain high is where it all starts. And before a person can realize it, he’s totally in the jaws of opiate addiction. What feels right in the beginning is actually a signal that you need to seek help instead of overdosing.

There is a dire need to look into such matters as most of the times, its children and young adults who are involved. You can start with an intervention; followed by therapies and experts consultants. The most important thing is to help them through withdrawal as this is the time they are more likely to relapse. Lookout for people you care about and don’t leave them to deal with it alone.

 

 Posted by at 8:43 am

Reducing the Amount of Opioids in Homes

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on Reducing the Amount of Opioids in Homes
Dec 112017
 
Opioid Pills

Opioid Pills

 

Opioid abuse and addiction can start in different ways, and one of these is the temptation that leftover opioids present.

With roughly billions of unused opioid prescriptions left in American medicine cabinets and sock drawers, individuals have easy access to these addictive drugs. Even holiday party attendees can raid these hiding places and get their fix.

Leftover opioids can also fuel drug use experimentation by teenage children. These can also serve as the gateway to dealing with opioids.

Although there are efforts to remove this health threat, it just isn’t enough.

The Problem with Take-Back Days

Twice a year, the Drug Enforcement Administration hosts prescription take-back days where anyone can drop off any amount and type of pills at designated locations with no questions asked.

The most recent event resulted in a net 456 tons of pills collected. Unfortunately, only a fraction of this volume is prescriptions that help reduce the risks of addiction and overdose.

Because the event is also spaced 6 months in between, patients and consumers will be able to get more prescription drugs. So there’s really no telling how much leftover opioids should have been collected.

Take-back days should be as routine as bottle and can recycling for the collection of excess medications to make an impact population-wide.

In 2010, Congress has passed a legislation that authorizes and requires opioid dispensaries to operate prescription drop-off locations for the whole year round. Unfortunately, the idea has yet to take off in a massive way.

Among the participating organizations, only 2.5% complied, as reported by the Government Accountability Office. North Dakota has the highest number of participating organizations at 32%.

What are the key barriers?

  • Safe-like maintenance of prescription drop-off container
  • Staff training on relevant regulations
  • Proper disposal of returned medication

All these will cost organizations money they may not have and most of them are unwilling to absorb the cost of prescription drop-off sites’ operation. Whether in the public or private sector, their response is the same.

CVS Health, however, took the opposite path as they volunteered to build 750 disposal kiosks in their pharmacies.

Forcing Manufacturers to Participate

Opioid manufacturers earn revenues by the billions. Some of them may even have played a part in starting the opioid epidemic. So why not tap into their deep pockets for supporting prescription returns, especially opioids?

The government can make it mandatory for these manufacturers to offer incentives to consumers and patients for every bottle of pills returned to drop-off locations. This could be just what the United States needs to reduce, if not completely eliminate, leftover opioids and opioid addiction.

It can also be the key to starting a habit that is automatic and prevalent like can and bottle recycling.

It happened to bottle recycling, after all.

What started out as cash deposit incentives for recycling bottles has now become a widespread habit and one that is done voluntarily.

Considering the public health risks that opioid addiction poses on the addict and the people around them, doubling the efforts to collect leftover opioids in homes should be a priority.

 

 

 Posted by at 11:37 am

Kratom Herbal Supplement for Heroin Addiction Could Also be Addicting

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on Kratom Herbal Supplement for Heroin Addiction Could Also be Addicting
Nov 242017
 
Kratom capsules

Kratom capsules

 

Kratom has been hailed as a natural, miracle cure for heroin addiction, providing a means for those addicted to heroin a real path towards releasing themselves from the hold that the drug puts on its victims. However, kratom has also been called highly addictive as well and some believe that it is simply trading one deadly addiction for another.

Kratom is not only used to help break people from heroin addiction, but also as a party drug and to dampen or take the edge off pain. It’s cheap at $5 for two-grams which constitutes a single dose. Kratom is considered a hot drug for health nuts because it is herbal and hip by those who love to party. There are different types of kratom depending on the strain and potency, one of which promises to help keep you focused and alert.

Developed from a plant in Southeast Asia, kratom has become highly popular in smoke shops and cafes where it has been billed as a safe, herbal product. The herb itself is legal in 43 states, but the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is wrestling with whether to keep the status of kratom as safe or label it as dangerous. Currently, it is billed by the feds as a “drug of concern”. There is no timeline to when the FDA will make a final decision, so until that happens the hands of the federal government are tied.

The way kratom is being sold off the shelves in an indication that the herbal product has highly addicting properties as many are purchasing it in bulk. In addition, several deaths in the New York City area alone have been directly linked to kratom. From thoughts of suicide to heart palpitations, seizures, bleeding in the lungs, psychosis, and more, kratom has shown to have a deadly side.

The DEA has officially listed the number of deaths directly related to kratom from 2014 to 2016 as 15 nationwide which all things considered is quite low, but the drug itself has become quite popular over the past year which means that the number of people dying from kratom will almost certainly rise. This is especially true for those who have used the substance to kick their heroin habit. There are former heroin users who report that kratom has taken away the withdrawal symptoms of leaving heroin while helping them feel normal. However, it has also been described as taking away one drug for another which only keeps the addiction in place.

More disconcerting is that since there is no ban or regulations on kratom by the FDA and in 43 states, it is legal to serve to minors. Since kratom has only recently become a popular substance, it will be some time before the full effects of whether it is relatively benign or create far worse issues will be known. What can be said is that kratom is highly popular with those who use it and most see no reason to regulate the substance.

Reference

http://nypost.com/2017/11/11/supplement-to-cure-heroin-addiction-could-be-addicting-too/

 Posted by at 2:29 pm

Opioid Epidemic Getting Worse not Better

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on Opioid Epidemic Getting Worse not Better
Oct 162017
 

U. S. public health officials have said that the opioid epidemic is not getting any better.

Testifying at a Senate hearing, Dr. Debra Houry, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and other public health officials said that opioid addiction in America has taken a turn for the worse. In addition, official said that addressing the issue is beyond the scope of any particular agency.

The director of the National Institutes for Health, Dr Francis Collins added that they “need all hands on deck.”

The hearing was the first in a series to be held before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. It was attended by officials from the four federal health agencies, who delivered their assessment of the opioid epidemic.

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who heads the committee, said that the opioid crisis is “tearing our communities apart, tearing families apart, and posing an enormous challenge to health providers and law enforcement officials.”

According to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services administration, more than 11 million people in America misused prescription drugs in 2016. Of that number, one million used heroin while 2.1 million suffered from an opioid disorder caused by prescription opioids and heroin.

Officials at the Senate hearing also raised the alarm over the still increasing deaths due to drug overdose, particularly those that involved fentanyl which was made illicitly, as well as other similar potent synthetic opioids.

The officials said that opioid overdose has been the cause of death of more than 300,000 Americans since 2000. In 2016, drug overdose deaths numbered at least 64,000, according to preliminary date. That figure is the highest ever recorded in a single year in the US.

Drug Abuse Treatment

Public health officials at the Senate hearing mentioned the steps taken by federal agencies to combat the problem. A number of programs have been implemented to improve access to treatment and to mobilize resources in order to increase availability and quality of long-term recovery. There are also programs that target high-risk individuals such as women who are pregnant and those who are in jail and prison.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration award close to $46 million in grants in September to programs located in 22 states to help first responders and those who directly work with high-risk individuals.

But despite the number of programs available and the money received, Republican Senator Susan Collins from Maine says that the needed progress is still nowhere in sight.

According to public health officials, much more needs to be done, especially when it comes to prevention and opioid over-prescription.

Dr Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said that most people become opioid addicts after being treated with the drug for a medical condition. As such, steps have been taken by the agency to improve how medical providers are educated on the risks and benefits of prescribing opioids.

Dr Collins of the National Institutes of Health also said that alternative treatments like acupuncture should also be emphasized.

The Senate Committee will next hear from state officials next month on what they have been doing and what they need to fight opioid addiction.

 

 Posted by at 3:20 pm

Gray Death Is The Latest Opioid Of Concern

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on Gray Death Is The Latest Opioid Of Concern
May 152017
 

The opioid epidemic is on the rise and is showing no signs of stopping, yet another player has joined the game and is making it even more dangerous: Gray Death.

Its name sounds ominous, but you wouldn’t know it just by looking at the drug itself. It looks a lot like concrete mix at first glance, and its texture ranges from a fine powder to hard and chunky pieces. However, “Gray Death” will seem appropriate once you hear that the drug has been blamed for around 50 overdoses in Georgia in the past three months.

 

What’s in the Mix?

Gray Death isn’t just one type of substance; rather, it’s a mix of several well-known drugs like heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanil, which is used to tranquilize elephants, tigers, and other large animals. According to Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, fentanyl is “50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine”, while carfentanil is 100 times stronger than fentanyl and 10,000 times stronger than morphine.

Gray Death also contains a kind of drug called U-47700. Also known as “U4” and “Pink”, it’s a synthetic opioid that’s considered by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as one of the most dangerous drugs in the country.

Users get Gray Death into their bodies by snorting, smoking, swallowing, or injecting it. Because of the mix of substances it contains, Gray Death is much more potent than heroin, which means that users don’t only get a stronger high — they also have higher chances of overdosing on it and losing their lives.

What makes the drug even more dangerous is that users don’t know exactly what substances are in the mix and what their concentrations are. This makes it too easy for people to overdose, especially those who take Gray Death in large amounts and/or use it along with other types of drugs. Another thing that makes Gray Death incredibly dangerous: because of its potency, it can be easily absorbed by the skin. So, even simply touching the concrete-like drug can put users at risk.

Thankfully, the DEA has not noticed a “national proliferation” of Gray Death; currently, it’s still limited to Ohio and Georgia as well as the Gulf Coast. However, just like with any other drug, it can make its way to the rest of the U.S. in the next few months.

 

New Trends

The Gray Death is the latest addition to the growing trend of mixing opioids with other drugs to create deadly cocktails. A version of Gray Death sans U-47700 was first detected by the authorities in 2012 in Atlanta and later made its way to Cincinnati, Chicago, San Diego, and other cities.

In certain communities, users are mixing fentanyl with cocaine and other non-opioid drugs. Other combinations include heroin and fentanyl-class drugs, which are then mixed with HTC, methamphetamine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and other non-opioids.

What’s dangerous about this is that not all users are aware that they’re getting a mix. Some users, for example, think they’re buying plain heroin, when in fact many sellers are now selling heroin that’s laced with a more powerful form of fentanyl called 3-methylfentanyl. With this potent combination, users become even more at risk for overdose and even death.

 

 Posted by at 1:37 pm

Opioid Epidemic Not Driven by Prescription Painkillers

 Opioid Addiction, Prescription Drug Abuse  Comments Off on Opioid Epidemic Not Driven by Prescription Painkillers
Mar 312017
 

Prescription painkillers are no longer causing opioid epidemic, according to a top official for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This was revealed at a congressional hearing that heroin and illicit fentanyl were instead the culprits for the rising rate of drug overdoses.

Proven Wrong Based on Research

The fact that prescription opioids were allegedly causing the rising deaths related to overdose for years, proved to be wrong as it was found out that the occurrence was due to synthetic opioid and heroin overdose. Moreover, this was also determined to have been caused by fentanyl manufactured illegally.

Over 33,000 deaths were blamed to opioids in which less than half were related to pain medication. CDC Director Debra Houry also said that based from statistics, more than half of those who overdosed on fentanyl or heroin have received at least a single opioid prescription within 7 years before they have died.

Reports regarding efforts to reduce prescription of opioid that have led to the increased use of prohibited drugs were also disputed by Houry. In fact, it was the office of Houry that supervised the development of CDC guidelines. This was reportedly been controversial, as doctors were discouraged to prescribe opioids for chronic pain.

More on Opioids

Based on research, one of the three main categories of medications that would offer certain liabilities for abuse are prescription opioids. The other two are the central nervous system stimulants and depressants. Likewise, there are some factors, which contribute to the severity of the current abuse problem in prescription drugs. Such would include greater social responsibility to use medications, increases in the prescription count whether dispensed or written, and aggressive marketing of some pharmaceutical companies.

When it comes to mortality and abuse, opioids constitute among the highest proportion of the problems related to prescription drug abuse. In fact, as early as 2002, certain cases about opioid analgesic poisoning related to mortality are more common than cocaine or heroin.

Proper Knowledge About Prescription Drugs

According to experts, there is a great lack of medication-assisted treatments in many of the settings of addiction treatment. This is where negative attitudes and stigma persist among administrators and clinic staff. Thus, it would lead to the failure of treatment and the perception that such drugs are ineffective, which would reinforce negative attitudes towards using them.

It might be very difficult to explain that prescription drugs are effective and safe, but at the same time addictive and harmful when abused. That is why there should be focused research in order to discover some targeted communication strategies to address the problem effectively. The notion to educate is a crucial component of any effort of curbing prescription medication abuse, which should be targeted in every segment of the society that should involve doctors.

Conclusion

Despite the fact that opioid medications are still gateway drugs for many, it was otherwise revealed in a report that not all of them are using prescription painkillers before they succumb to death. Therefore, it was strongly denied by Houry that such a report on reductions of prescribing opioid would increase the use of heroin or other illegal drugs.

 

Reference

https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2017/3/26/cdc-painkillers-no-longer-driving-opioid-epidemic

 

 

 Posted by at 2:32 pm

Increase in Number of Prescription Opioid Poisonings in Children

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on Increase in Number of Prescription Opioid Poisonings in Children
Jan 032017
 

A study was conducted about opioid poisoning and the results found an increase in the number of young children and teenagers being victims of ingesting these painkiller drugs that were supposedly for the medication of other members of the family.

This was revealed by head of the study, postdoctoral fellow, Julie Gaither, from Yale School of Public Health. She said that with the enormous number of opioids in households, these children gain access to these prescription medicines.

The mortality rate of children with opioid poisoning-related deaths in the last six years, from 1997 to 2012 was high with 176 deaths while the incidence increased to 165%. This information was gathered from the available data recorded until 2012 which means that for the last four years, the trends in terms of awareness and the prescription of opioids are not available.

To conduct the study, more than 13,000 records from hospital discharges and census date covering the six years were examined to extrapolate rates and the study was then published in JAMA Pediatrics. Conversely, in relation to drug abuse and addiction in adults, the rates are still high although findings show a decrease in the trend.

In the study, researchers also posit that the number of teenagers at risk for opioid overdose, deliberately or otherwise are also increasing since this age group are high risks for suicide and depression, with around 10 out of 100,000 teenagers treated for drug-related poisoning in 2012.

It also found evidence that teenagers may also be leaning towards taking heroin since drug regulations have made it difficult to get prescriptions for opiates with heroin-related hospital cases from aged 15 to 19 increasing by 161%.

As for hospitalized toddlers with opioid-poisoning cases, the rates have also increased from 0.86 to 2.62 for every 100,000 children. This was attributed to the fact that most of these kids thought these drugs were candies.

Gaither recommends that medical practitioners should educate patients on proper storage of drugs. Moreover, she and her co-authors mentioned that this suggestion should coincide with addressing the problem of over-prescription of drugs.

The study also came up with findings that doctors prescribing drugs to children, particularly adults, should be more careful about this practice since there have been reports of high school students who deliberately took opioids prescribed to them for no medical reason at all. Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics noted the increase in the number of young patients being prescribed with painkillers in the 1990s and 2000s.

However, Stanford Medicine physician, Jonathan Chen, thinks otherwise. According to him, asking doctors to teach patients about drug storage in the home might not be possible since these doctors already have a lot of issues to discuss with their patients and should not be expected to always be able to consider the possibility of drugs lying around the house and be taken by other family members. Chen said that while the idea is theoretically good, this might not be possible to be carried out.

For Dr. Julie Gaither, however, it is still crucial for doctors to take children into consideration and the toll opioid-poisoning related to prescription drugs has on their health.

 

 Posted by at 4:48 pm

Carfentanil Has Been Unleashed

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on Carfentanil Has Been Unleashed
Oct 262016
 

A couple of months ago, the powerful sedative, Carfentanil, was all over the Internet. The powerful drug was being linked to the numerous deaths from overdose in the Midwest. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has declared that this is the most potent opioid sold commercially on a global scale.

This synthetic opioid is considered 10,000 more potent than morphine, 50 times deadlier than heroin and 100 times stronger than the prescription painkiller, Fentanyl, which took the life of popular singer Prince this year.

Back in August, there were at least 92 cases of drug overdose in Cincinnati and it was believed that these were not only due to heroin but also to the deadly drug, Carfentanil. According to reports, drug dealers deliberately combine the drug with heroin or make them into pills. These drugs, in turn, are sold to buyers without disclosing the presence of the synthetic opioid.

Head of the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition Task Force in this part of Ohio, Police Chief Tom Synan of Newton, reported that the commercial opioid made its way to the county in July and the officers who responded to the calls were swarmed with cases. He said that calls were continuous and that in one shift, 14 cases came from just one district. The mere touch or inhalation of the opioid is so deadly that health practitioners who attended to the patients in emergency rooms as well as the first responders had to wear gloves and masks.

According to Synan, what used to be four to five overdose cases in a day grew to 20 to 50 overdoses. It was only a few years back when drug traffickers replaced heroin and other street drugs with Fentanyl.

elephant-down

 

How strong is Carfentanil?

This dangerous drug is not fit for human consumption and is only used in animals for sedation. These large animals include buffalos, moose and elephants. If two milligrams of the opioid is administered to a 2,000-pound African elephant, this small amount can totally knock the animal down. In regard to people, a dose of this drug which is as small as a grain of salt can kill a human being.  A failed hostage rescue operation in Moscow was a proof of this. This was after more than 100 hostages died after Russian Special Forces team sprayed a chemical aerosol in a theater. It was revealed that the chemical had Carfentanil as one of the components.

The drug used to reverse the effects of opioids, Naloxone, is also used to save a person who overdoses from it. Tim Ingram, the commissioner of Hamilton County Health, also said that while it takes a longer time for a person who took the opioid to metabolize the drug in the body, this results to getting high for a longer time. Sadly, it also makes it harder for health practitioners to revive a person who gets overdosed.

Spokesman for the DEA, Russ Baer, says that Carfentanil is sold online and comes from China or is distributed by drug traffickers from Mexico. Meanwhile, Ingram expressed that there should be tougher penalties in selling Carfentanil. With the current policy about drugs, selling them in the street is not considered a violent crime.

 

Reference

http://www.scpr.org/news/2016/09/02/64245/an-even-deadlier-opioid-carfentanil-is-hitting-the/

 

 Posted by at 1:58 pm

First Implant for Opioid Addiction

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on First Implant for Opioid Addiction
Aug 042016
 

opioid-addiction-implant
A development in the drive to battle addiction to opioids recently came up. The Food and Drug Administration had already given its approval on what can be considered a breakthrough in medicine – the first implant treatment for opioid dependence. This is what is referred to as the Probuphine device.

Although there are already available medicines that will reduce the symptoms of opioid withdrawal, this implant is the first of its kind. Probuphine has already been in existence for more than a decade. For 14 years, patients have been taking this prescribed medicine orally and Probuphine has been an effective drug to manage withdrawal symptoms of heroin and painkiller addicts.

This subdermal implant will be marketed in the United States by Braeburn Pharmaceuticals and will need to be done by trained healthcare providers, particularly physicians who have to be certified to insert these implants on patients. Also, it will not be available in pharmacies and will only be dispensed with prescription.

Supporters of the use of this prescribed drug say that the procedure will make the drug out of reach of children who are at risk to accidentally ingesting the drug in oral form. Apart from this, probuphine also offer other benefits such as providing correct and ample levels of buprenorphine and ensuring patient compliance. It is also given once every six months in an outpatient setting, making it convenient.

However, not all patients can be candidates for the procedure as per the FDA approval. Only those who belong to the category where dependency to buprenorphine has already been minimized to at least 8 milligrams or less are considered although trained health care providers who are certified to perform the procedure can give it to new users of the drug as well as other off-label users.

Understanding Opioid Addiction

Addiction is characterized by cravings and is a chronic disease of brain reward, memory and motivation. It can also manifest lack of impulse control. Opioid addiction is a medical condition that is considered to be an increasing global problem. The use of oral buprenorphine is considered as an effective treatment in managing this medical condition but it does not come without disadvantages such as possible abuse and incorrect dosage of the medication.

The patient will be given four implants of small sticks that are around 26 millimeters in length and will be inserted in the upper arm. The simple procedure will only take less than a quarter of an hour to finish.

The approval by the FDA of the implant will have an impact on the prevalence of opioid addiction in the U.S. with a recorded number of more than 80 people overdosing from opioids. Developed by Titan Pharmaceuticals, the marketing of Probuphine by Braeburn Pharmaceuticals is under a license agreement between the two pharmaceuticals.

Meanwhile, the first series of Probuphine implant trainings will be conducted in San Juan Puerto Rico from August 5-7 for qualified health care providers. In the U.S., more than 4,000 doctors have already expressed their interest to get certified to insert and remove the implant.

 

Reference

http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/27/fda-probuphine-opioid-addiction/

 

 Posted by at 9:56 am

Addicts Turning to Imodium in Record Numbers

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on Addicts Turning to Imodium in Record Numbers
Jul 052016
 

A growing number of desperate opioid users who cannot get their hands on painkillers, such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, are turning to the anti-diarrhea drug Imodium to mitigate the symptoms of opioid withdrawal or satisfy their addiction. The said medication used to be a prescription drug and a controlled substance up until 1988 when it became an over-the-counter drug and became easier to access.

Why Addicts Turn to Imodium?

Imodium has an active ingredient, known as loperamide, which gives a certain high to any individual who consumes it in excessive amounts. A report that was published online also said that abuse of this drug has been linked to two deaths in New York as well as irregular heartbeats which are considered to be life-threatening, with about a dozen cases reported for the period of 18 months. It does not enter the central nervous and acts on the opioid receptors in the gastrointestinal tract. When taken in small doses, it will not result to a certain high but in excessive amounts, it can be fatal.

It was just recent that medical experts have discovered the proliferation of Imodium-abuse although toxicologists and doctors in emergency departments believe this growing problem is more widespread. According to lead author and SUNY Upstate Medical Center clinical toxicologist, William Eggleston, patients are taking it over a period of several months and are turning to loperamide to get high and manage muscle pains and other symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

Meanwhile, spokeswoman for the Food and Drug Administration, Sarah Peddicord, has already expressed their knowledge of the threatening growing habit and confirmed that they are going to do something about the problem.

“The F.D.A. is aware of recent reports of adverse events related to the intentional misuse and/or abuse of the anti-diarrhea product loperamide to treat symptoms of opioid withdrawal or produce euphoric effects.”

Loperamide, if taken in the recommended dose, of not exceeding four caplets or eight milligrams,is not harmful. However, people who abuse the use are reported to take up to 100 caplets of two milligrams on a daily basis.

There have been two cases of two individuals who lost their lives as the effect of taking excessive doses of the drug. One was a 39-year old man who underwent self-medication using the anti-diarrhea drug, instead of the prescribed buprenorphine to manage opioid withdrawal symptoms while another man, who was 24 years old, also died from the use of loperamide.

Since the drug is a non-prescription medication and is not expensive at only $7.59 for 4oo tablets, purchasing the drug in large amounts did not really raise a red flag. Experts also reiterated that the presence of loperamide in patients cannot be detected in routine drug screenings.

Patients who suffer from loperamide abuse show signs of lethargy and can manifest symptoms of heroin overdose. Because of this, the reversal drug given to patients is the anti-opioid drug, Naloxone.

Expert toxicologists are pushing on putting a limit on the sales of loperamide, just like the cap on the sales of pseudoephedrine, a non-prescription drug, 10 years ago. According to Dr. Eggleston, the FDA is going to believe the seriousness of the issue when more people will be creating noise about it.

 

Reference

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/11/health/imodium-opioid-addiction.html?_r=2

 

 Posted by at 10:35 am