Lisa, a client at the AAC Needle Exchange and Overdose Prevention Program in Cambridge, Mass. Nearly five years after an opioid overdose she still limps — possibly because of damage the drug cocktail did to her nerves or muscles.
People in their mid-40s to mid-60s are more likely than any other group to be prescribed opioids with benzodiazepines. Both kinds of drugs can hamper breathing and mixing them is especially risky.
Imodium is a popular brand of the drug loperamide. Because loperamide is increasingly being abused by opioid users, some toxicologists think it should have the same sales restrictions as pseudoephedrine.
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Tina Wolf demonstrates the use of naloxone to community members in Lindenhurst, N.Y., during an overdose prevention training. Georgia Dolan-Reilly (left) of the Suffolk County Prevention Resource Center helped with the training.
Kevin Hagen for NPR
Several states distribute Naloxone hydrochloride, also called Narcan, to treat opium-based drug overdoses. But only one company manufactures the drug, and the price has spiked in recent years.