A popular home remedy that you will often see mentioned if you are looking for help with easing opiate withdrawal symptoms is the Thomas Recipe. You will hear many different stories about its effectiveness. Like most opiate withdrawal remedies, what works for one person will not necessarily have the same effectiveness for the next individual. In that respect, the Thomas Recipe is certainly no different.

The Thomas Recipe was designed by a long-time addict to prescription painkillers. Finding other methods of home remedies and prescription based remedies for opiate withdrawal unsuitable, he designed his own solution combining over-the-counter medicines and supplements, prescription medication, and a strict schedule to follow.

You may find some variations of the Thomas Recipe online as people have added their own touches, but this version was taken from the Drugs.com forum and is the most common version of the recipe that you will find.

Ingredients for the Thomas Recipe

  • Valium (or another benzodiazepine such as Klonopin, Librium, Ativan or Xanax). Of these, Valium and Klonopin are best suited for tapering since they come in tablet form. Librium is also an excellent detox benzo, but comes in capsules, making it hard to taper the dose. Ativan or Xanax should only be used if you can’t get one of the others.
  • Imodium AD or Loperamide (over-the-counter, any drug or grocery store).
  • L-Tyrosine (500 mg caps) from the health food store.
  • Strong wide-spectrum mineral supplement with at least 100% RDA of Zinc, Phosphorus, Copper, Magnesium and Potassium (you may not find the potassium in the same supplement).
  • Vitamin B6 capsules.
  • Access to hot baths or a Jacuzzi (or hot showers if that is all that is available). 


Steps of the Thomas Recipe

  • The vitamins and mineral supplements should be started from the very beginning of your detox. You may have trouble keeping them down the first day, but it is important to try, preferably with food. The potassium is one of the most important parts of the recipe, as it will provide some relief from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and muscle aches. In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, bananas are an excellent source of potassium.
  • Take regular doses of Valium (or alternate benzodiazepine) at the beginning of your detox. Insomnia is one of the most difficult opiate withdrawal symptoms to deal with. Getting regular, restful sleep will be a big step towards a successful detox. You want to take enough to produce sleep, but before you start taking these, make sure you understand how to take them safely. Each one has a different dosage schedule. Taper the Valium dosage down each day. You want to get through the first 4 days, and then stop the benzos.
  • During the detox, use the hot bath or Jacuzzi as often as needed to relieve muscle aches and soreness. A nice hot soak can also help you to sleep better.
  • Use the Imodium AD as needed to stop the runs following the directions for use that comes with it. Imodium AD slows down movements of your intestines. Not only can it help with diarrhea, but it will also give your body more time to absorb water which helps to prevent dehydration.
  • On the 5th day start taking 2000 mgs of L-Tyrosine along with vitamin B6 on an empty stomach. The vitamin B6 helps your body to absorb the L-Tyrosine, which should help to give you some energy to counter the general malaise that most people start to feel at this point in withdrawal. If needed, increase the dosage. You can take up to 4000 mgs. On the other hand, if it makes you feel more restless and jittery, back off the dosage or stop taking it altogether. L-Tyrosine does sometimes cause diarrhea, but it usually passes within an hour.
  • Continue taking the vitamin and mineral supplements with breakfast.
  • As soon as you are capable and can force yourself to, try to incorporate some mild exercise such as walking, cycling, or swimming. This will feel challenging at first, but exercise and sunshine stimulate production of endorphins, our body’s natural analgesic.

The obvious question now is does the Thomas Recipe actually work? In short, it is not something we would recommend, as it does not address some of the symptoms of opiate withdrawal, and the ones that it does address it does so in a way that is going to provide minimal relief at best. You can read more about why we think the Thomas Recipe is not your best option.