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Unfortunately, too many people are abusing shop bought and prescription medicines which doesn't seem to be taken as seriously as the use of illegal drugs. This needs to change.
I have recently lost the father to my two young children, an otherwise healthy twenty seven year old because of an addiction to loperamide (the active ingredient in Imodium), an every day medicine which most people don't know contains trace amounts of opiates. People mainly in America, use loperamide to stop withdrawals from opiates such as morphine and codeine but end up addicted to these and wind up taking up to 200+ tablets a day, causing a massive imbalance in the electricity in the heart without even realising the damage it's doing. With no warning signs this drug has made Aaron have four heart attacks in the space of 24 hours and left so severely brain damaged that his body only managed to survive for 45 minutes without a ventilator before he passed away. Within six days of being admitted to hospital Aaron died because of his addiction. Health professionals ignored his cries for help simply because they hadn't heard of the abuse of this substance before, rather than educate themselves and fulfil their duty of care and help him regardless. At the same time companies, such as Pound Stretcher, B&M and Home Bargains, sold Aaron between 8 and 15 boxes of loperamide in one transaction which is disgusting...
I realise that this is something that not many people will know about, but it is very serious and very real. I have had three people contact me to say that they/people they are close to, have been effected by the same issues Aaron had, with one person accidentally becoming addicted to these when using them to control IBS - which lead to a cardiac arrest and a pace maker being fitted. Unfortunately not everyone will have a lucky escape, and if this issue is left unnoticed, more and more people will become fatalities of this medicine as I'm sure many more people have been effected but are too embarrassed to come forward about it.
Currently the laws are only in place for the sale of paracetamol and ibuprofen, I feel this strongly needs ammending - just because overdose isn't widely associated with certain medications, it shouldn't mean that they are at our every day disposal.
If the laws were changed restricting people to two boxes of this medication, it would force people struggling with addiction to either stop or seek more help as the drugs won't be so easily accessible. This could save countless lives and stop any other families going through what me and my family and Aaron's friends have had to suffer. I don't think that this change would effect people who aren't abusing the medication, as they wouldn't need to buy more than two packets or at regular intervals.
At the very least I hope to at least educate people about the dangers of Loperamide. With one simple search on Google you can read about the dangers and the way that people are abusing the drug. Maybe with more knowledge about the issues Aaron had, others can be saved from the same fate he met early this year.
Read a more detailed version of Aaron's story here... and please feel free to share both our story and my campaign.
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