Authorities warn against excessive use of anti-diarrheal after overdose

CHESTER, IL (KFVS) - Randolph County, Illinois authorities say a trend over the county has caused one person to overdose.

The anti-diarrheal, or Imodium, is a made of Loperamide a synthetic opioid, is fatal when taken in large doses, according to the sheriff's office.

Law enforcement along with the state's attorney and coroner are asking businesses to monitor and move the item to behind the counter for public safety. There has been a spike in people buying the items in the area.

Randolph County Sheriff Shannon Wolff is shocked by the death due to overdosing on anti diarrheal drugs like Immodium.

"I'm sure this is occurring everywhere in the nation, people just aren't aware of it," Wolff said. "So, that's our concern, to get this out and make people aware of it and hopefully prevent any deaths."

Sheriff Wolf explains how they first noticed the activity a couple months ago...

"Somebody had came in and bought up all the Immodium on the shelf.  and then asked if there was any more in the back.. then the store clerk told them that there wasn't but they had another shipment coming in and they wanted to put money down on the next shipment coming in."

Sheriff Wolf says his department first noticed the activity a couple months ago...

"Somebody had came in and bought up all the Immodium on the shelf, and then asked if there was any more in the back. Then the store clerk told them that there wasn't but they had another shipment coming in and they wanted to put money down on the next shipment coming in."

Karen Grace, a substance use clinical expert, says her concern is the accessibility.

"These are drugs...they are not illegal..they are over the counter.. you can buy them at the grocery store, at walmart..  you can buy them several different places. it concerns me that this is a drug that now people are abusing to get high."

Karen Grace, a substance use clinical expert, says her concern is the accessibility similar to like Bath Salts or K2.

"These are drugs, they are not illegal, they are over the counter, Grace said. "You can buy them at the grocery store, at Walmart. "You can buy them several different places. It concerns me that this is a drug that now people are abusing to get high."

Grace said this is still something very new, however, she can typically relate the user back to opioid.

"We have known that with the opioid crisis, that people that are going through a withdrawal, they have diarrhea, they have aches and pains and stuff like that, Grace said. "We knew that immodium was being used for the purpose of withdrawals. What we didn't know as much about was that people were starting to use it to get high. I think it's important that if you know something like this is going on to report it. you are not betraying these people,  you are ultimately trying to help them."

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Deputies are also looking for evidence during traffic stops.

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