One of the most well-known at-home approaches for managing opiate withdrawal is the Thomas Recipe. Despite its notoriety, the Thomas Recipe for opiate withdrawal has not been researched and is not approved by the medical community. Here is what users should know about the Thomas Recipe for withdrawal.
Learn About Thomas Recipe for Detox:
Thomas Recipe Basics
Drug detox programs can be expensive, especially if a patient does not have insurance coverage. This can push many who are looking to quit opiates to seek out alternatives, such as home remedies to detox the body. One such option is known as the Thomas Recipe.
The Thomas Recipe is specifically designed to target opiate withdrawal. Detoxing from opiates is painful and dangerous. It can even lead to death. As such, it is no wonder that people will seek out options other than going cold turkey.
The Thomas Recipe for opiate withdrawal combines over-the-counter medications and supplements with benzodiazepines. The idea is that the combination of items will address all symptoms of withdrawal and result in safe, fast drug detox. However, there is no evidence that this is safe. If the goal is to find an affordable way to get clean, some centers allow people to detox for free.
The Thomas Recipe is dangerous to use, as medical supervision is vital to a safe detox. Additionally, gaining access to benzodiazepines without a prescription is illegal.
Ingredients Used in the Thomas Recipe
There is no one single Thomas Recipe for detox. It can be thought of as a recipe in the kitchen: there are core ingredients and methods, but people can and will put their spin on it. As such, guides on the internet will be highly varied in what they state the Thomas method is.
The core ingredients seen in the majority of online guides are as follows:
- Benzodiazepines—Valium and Klonopin are often used because they tend to be the easiest to taper off. Benzodiazepines are used to combat anxiety caused by withdrawals.
- An antidiarrheal medication—Imodium AD is usually the drug of choice for this step.
- L-Tyrosine 500mg capsules—These are thought to increase dopamine production, resulting in less stress.
- A multivitamin—Most recipes call for one that has zinc, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper.
- Vitamin B6 capsules—Drug abuse can inhibit the body’s production of vitamin B6, and it is needed for a healthy recovery.
- A tub, shower, jacuzzi, or steam room so the user can use heat to soothe muscle aches and cramps and better induce sleep.
Because some of these are controlled substances, gaining access to them means engaging in illegal activity. Additionally, taking them without supervision is incredibly dangerous. Medication-assisted detoxification should always be done with the help of a doctor.
The Key Steps
Just like with the ingredients, the steps that are part of the St. Thomas detox can vary depending on which guide a person is reading. In some ways, the steps are not all that different from outpatient drug detoxification, save for the absence of medical supervision. Some common steps to see included are:
- Schedule time off work and away from other commitments to ensure the ability to adhere to the detox process.
- Set up a fallback system for getting emergency care if something goes wrong.
- Stock up on potassium-enriched foods to keep the diet healthy and battle muscle aches.
- Take the vitamin and mineral supplements as the first dose, then continue taking them daily.
- Take the benzodiazepine in a safe dose, then continue taking it to induce sleep. Quickly begin a tapering schedule to safely stop benzo use by day four.
- Take an anti-diarrheal medication to prevent dehydration. Take it as often as needed.
- Drink a lot of water, no matter what.
- Use hot baths, steam rooms, or showers to ease muscle aches and make it easier to sleep.
- On day four, roughly when the benzodiazepine use stops, take a beginning dose of 2000 mg L-Tyrosine, either reducing or increasing the dose (up to 4000 mg).
- Engage in light exercise throughout the process.
- Stop the vitamin and mineral supplements once the user feels better.
Despite how closely these steps mimic safe, supervised programs, users need to keep in mind that all Thomas Recipes are risky. Do not try this at home.
Safety of the Thomas Recipe
While it may look scientific on its surface, the Thomas Recipe for opiates is not safe. The Thomas Recipe ingredients can cause severe complications, especially if they interact with any other substances a person is using. On top of this, the method was not designed by a doctor or scientist. It was thought up by drug users based on things they experienced while in outpatient and inpatient medical detox programs.
Any detoxification program should be based on sound evidence from medical studies and have been demonstrated to be successful in practice for many years. It should be regularly utilized by doctors in medical settings and have been proven to be safe. The Thomas recipe opiate withdrawal does not even begin to meet these standards. It is based on trial and error and the best guesses of untrained individuals.
In the absence of professional guides, it is easy for things to go wrong.
- Overdosing on the benzodiazepine is simple to do.
- There is the chance that even the vitamins and other supplements will cause a deadly interaction.
- The user may also end up experiencing withdrawal so extreme that the method does nothing to help them, and this can have fatal results all on its own.
It is common for individuals attempting to use the Thomas Recipe for opiates to end up seeking emergency care because things go wrong. Users would be in a much better position by seeking this care from the beginning.
This does not even take into account certain vulnerable populations who are more likely to have a negative reaction to the Thomas Recipe ingredients than others. For example, detox for pregnant women should utilize specific drugs that help the mother without causing further harm to the fetus. No matter how tempting it is to use the Thomas Recipe for opiate withdrawal, users should not. Official drug detox programs are affordable or free and much safer.
Thomas Recipe Effectiveness
Online, many individuals claim they used the Thomas Recipe for Percocet withdrawal or to stop other opioid medications. These people claim the process was simple, safe, and effective. However, there are problems with this.
First of all, Thomas Recipe directions are seldom the same, so it is impossible to know precisely what a person did to become a success story. This also does not take into account the variables within a user, such as their overall health, age, weight, and other medications they are taking.
Then there is the fact that users cannot know who these people touting the Thomas remedy actually are. It is impossible to know if they are telling the truth about their experience or supposed credentials. It is possible they never tried any opiate withdrawal remedies like the Thomas Recipe.
Also important to consider is that there is no scientific proof that it works or is safe. Anecdotal evidence is unreliable and not enough for someone to trust their lives to the method.
Finally, users have to consider that stopping the use of a drug is only one step on the road to recovery. A comprehensive treatment plan for substance abuse is needed to get well and stop use permanently. Anyone who only focuses on stopping use will surely start again.
Medical Detox Is Better
Going it alone with something as risky as detoxing from opioids is too dangerous to consider. The risk is amplified when using powerful medications like benzodiazepines without supervision.
Then there is the fact that benzodiazepines are not even the correct type of drug to use. Suboxone and methadone are, but they are not easy to gain access to illegally, which is why they are not part of the recipe.
Users would be better off seeking an official rehab to get access to these drugs under medical supervision than using something ineffective and risky.
Perhaps most critical is that opting for the Thomas detox over an official one means not getting easy access to ongoing treatment. Users who get clean at top drug rehab will be given therapies and support that helps them stop using drugs for the long term. When they leave, they will have new skills that help them deal with cravings and avoid temptation. At a holistic detox center, they might even learn hobbies that can help keep their minds focused on a healthier life.
Ultimately, managing opiate withdrawal with the Thomas Recipe is a dangerous shortcut that cheats users out of getting the help they truly need.
No matter what drug a person is using or how long they have been addicted, drug rehab centers offer the right treatment for getting clean. From withdrawal management to therapy, quality centers know how to address the needs of addicts. All it requires is for the patient to make the right choice and seek out the treatment they need.
- Mansi Shah; Martin R. Huecker. Opioid Withdrawal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526012/
- Pocket Guide: Tapering Opioids for Chronic Pain. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/pdf/clinical_pocket_guide_tapering-a.pdf
- Bodil Monwell, Per Bülow, Gerdner. Type of opioid dependence among patients seeking opioid substitution treatment: are there differences in background and severity of problems? Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2016; 11: 23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4940729/