The Thomas Recipe is a cocktail of ingredients aimed at decreasing the discomfort of opiate withdrawal. It consists of vitamins, L-tyrosine pills, and benzodiazepines.

The recipe follows a specific schedule that claims to reduce the impact of opiate withdrawal, but there is much controversy around its use.

Ultimately, medical detox is the safest and most effective way to undergo opiate withdrawal. Attempting to detox on your own via the Thomas Recipe can be dangerous and lead to relapse.

How Does the Thomas Recipe Assist with Drug Withdrawal?

The recipe includes the following ingredients:

  • Benzodiazepines: Medical News Today states that benzodiazepines are effective in combating feelings of stress, seizures, and anxiety. They can also help some people sleep better. User reports on sites like Medium relay benzodiazepines should be taken for only four to five days, or addiction could occur.
    Since benzodiazepines are only available via prescription, many people using the Thomas Recipe get this ingredient from other sources. It is never safe to take a prescription drug that is not prescribed for you.
  • Imodium or loperamide: Imodium can relieve symptoms of diarrhea in people who experience it as part of their withdrawal. It is also known as loperamide, and you can get it without a prescription at various pharmacies
  • Supplements: These consist of magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and vitamin B6. The World Health Organization mentions that people who undergo withdrawal lose water frequently because of diarrhea. As such, vitamin B and C supplements can aid in electrolyte imbalances. Medical News Today also mentions that eating bananas can help because they do not cause an upset stomach.

The Thomas Recipe advises that you stay close to showers and toilets since nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive sweating are likely during withdrawal.

The Thomas Recipe Vs. Other Solutions

User reports mention that even though the Thomas Recipe seems easy to follow compared to some alternatives, there are several disadvantages associated with it.

  • Finding a supplement containing the right amounts of zinc, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B6 can be difficult.
  • Getting a prescription for a benzodiazepine will mean paying for a doctor’s visit and the medication if you can successfully obtain it. Most doctors won’t just give you a prescription for a benzodiazepine. Many people obtain the benzodiazepines in the recipe through illicit means. This is very dangerous.
  • According to DTPM, you do not get full relief from all the symptoms of withdrawal even if you obtain all the ingredients.
  • Attempting to dose prescription drugs and even over-the-counter drugs like Imodium on your own is dangerous.

When To Seek Help

At-home detox methods like the Thomas Recipe aren’t safe, and they are likely to lead to relapse. Instead, you need professional help to get through opioid withdrawal.

Mayo Clinic outlines when a person should seek help for opiate use. Get help if you are:

Seek Help If

  •  Using opioids without a prescription
  •  Taking drugs even if it hurts your life
  •  Experiencing changes to your sleeping patterns
  •  Visiting different doctors to get more medication

Detoxing from opiates is a difficult task for anyone. It is not recommended that you go through withdrawal alone.

How to Deal with Opiate Withdrawal

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that withdrawal management should utilize psychological and medical tools to address withdrawal symptoms. This often involves the use of both medication and therapy.

Methadone and buprenorphine are often used as medication-assisted treatments (MAT). People may switch to these medications initially and then be slowly tapered off them over time until they are no longer taking any medications.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide guidelines for how to taper a person from opiate painkillers if they have been taking them legitimately.

  • Doctors can and should monitor patients for signs of misuse to prevent addiction.
  • Tapering off opioid painkillers should be slow. It can start with a reduction of 10 percent per week, but the process can be modified according to the patient’s needs.
  • Doctors can discuss the patient’s needs with other experts.
  • Patients can be referred to other support networks, such as psychological assistance.

For people who are addicted to opioids such as heroin, fentanyl, or other illicit substances, using an opioid substitute like methadone or buprenorphine is more suitable.

Medical detox programs should also include:

Medical Detox Programs Should Include

  •  A safe and supportive environment
  •  24-hour on-call care
  •  Medication management
  •  Comprehensive therapy
  •  Supportive care, such as opportunities for gentle exercise and relaxing activities


The Thomas Recipe does not substitute for medical expertise. Attempting to use it without medical assistance can be dangerous and is likely to lead to opioid relapse.

If you want to taper off or quit opioids, talk to a doctor who can assist you.

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