Prescription drug abuse is a major problem for many people. Prescriptions are susceptible to abuse for a number of reasons, including the fact that too many people assume they are safe. Although they are not illegal drugs, misusing a prescription drug is never safe and some are more harmful than others. Lomotil abuse is a problem not often addressed because this drug is not considered to be habit-forming. Unfortunately, some people still abuse it and suffer the consequences. If you have access to this drug, know the risks of abusing it.
Lomotil, Demerol: the Same Drug?
One of the main reasons that Lomotil is abused is that it is similar to a narcotic opioid painkiller called Demerol. Opioid painkillers are among the most addictive drugs, including those that are illegal. Opioids give users a potent high and they are highly susceptible to abuse and to causing a lifelong addiction. The active ingredient in Lomotil is similar to that of Demerol, and when ingested it is converted into an opioid in the digestive tract.
What Is Lomotil?
Lomotil is a brand name for the generic drug called diphenoxylate. This is the substance that is similar to Demerol. Diphenoxylate is prescribed to treat diarrhea. It slows contraction of the intestines and decreases bowel movements. If you have been prescribed this medication for diarrhea, you may also have been given fluids or salt tablets to address the dehydration caused by the condition.
Lomotil is largely safe, and when taken at the recommended dose is not harmful. There are some potential side effects, including vomiting, nausea, mood swings, restlessness, headaches, loss of appetite and confusion. In most people these are mild, but in some more serious side effects may occur. These include bloating, stomach pain, increased heart rate, hives, difficulty breathing and swelling and should be treated immediately.
Why Abuse Lomotil?
It may not be immediately obvious why someone would abuse a diarrhea medication. The reason lies in what happens to the digested drug. It is changed into an opioid compound, which is what works in the intestines to treat the diarrhea. At regular doses, the resultant opioid is not strong enough to produce the euphoric high that you might get from an opioid painkiller. The Lomotil high, however, can be achieved by taking large amounts of the drug. This results in a larger amount of the opioid accumulating in the blood stream. It then goes to the brain and produces a high.
Abusing Lomotil like this can increase the risk and severity of side effects and can lead to dependence. Think about how addiction affects the family before you think about abusing what you imagine to be a harmless prescription drug. People abusing Lomotil report experiencing withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, aching muscles, insomnia, nausea and sweating when they try to stop using it. Don’t put yourself in this position and only take Lomotil at the recommended dose.