The Loperamide Trend


Written by: The Tall Cop, Jermaine Galloway

Opioids continue to be one of the main trending drugs nationwide.  From small to large communities, opioids remain readily available, but there is an alternative drug that works just like an opioid - Loperamide. 

Loperamide is a non-prescription (over-the-counter), anti-diarrhea drug that comes in the form of a pill, tablet, or liquid; mainly sought after and used for “upset stomach”, the public knows it as Imodium.

What some don’t realize is the value that Loperamide can carry for those who might be abusing opioids, are going through opioid withdrawals, or are attempting to avoid detection during a drug test.  Loperamide, in VERY high (dangerous) doses, works very similar to opioids in the body.  When used in this very high dose many have reported “it feels similar to heroin”. 

Most Loperamide pills contain 2 milligrams each.  Abusers of this drug may use up to 150 pills to achieve this similar high. Class attendees in the mental health and law enforcement fields have provided valuable feedback regarding this trend.  During one class, in a rural Midwest city, a provider shared a story about an elderly patient (over 70 years old) who would use Loperamide in very high doses when she could not get a prescription for pain medication. 

Keep in mind that Loperamide is not expensive, readily available, and sold at retail outlets in most cities, including very rural areas.  Furthermore, a person can purchase large amounts of this drug and it is not reported, monitored, or tracked.  Providing education for parents, communities, and schools is essential since not many people realize that Loperamide can work similar to opioids. 

This trend has remained popular for many years;  there are FDA warnings dating back to 2016 highlighting the dangers of Loperamide

In closing, Loperamide in high doses, is a drug of concern that is being used and abused in communities.  Training is key. “You can’t stop what you don’t know.”

Written: November 17, 2021