Although The Thomas Recipe is commonly recommended on the internet, the method lacks scientific and safety data to support it, and it can be difficult to achieve.

Article at a Glance:

  • The Thomas Recipe is a home detox option developed by people on the internet.
  • The Thomas Recipe is not FDA-approved and has not been officially studied for opioid detox.
  • Always ask your doctor if it is safe for you to detox at home before starting The Thomas Recipe.

What Is The Thomas Recipe?

People who want to stop taking opioids sometimes resort to at-home detox and home remedies. A common home remedy for opioid withdrawal is The Thomas Recipe, a self-detox regimen combining supplements and medication to ease opiate withdrawal symptoms.

The Thomas Recipe is not published in any book and has not been studied. It is a regimen that has been discussed by word-of-mouth online by opioid users seeking to quit drugs. Different versions of the recipe exist, although they generally have similar ingredients.

It is important to remember that the Thomas Recipe has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, so its safety and efficacy are not clear. The recipe does not represent professional medical advice. Further, it is not a recommended opioid-detox strategy in the opioid withdrawal guidelines from the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

What Are the Risks of Detoxing at Home?

Self-detox programs affect every user differently. It is important to consult a physician or addiction specialist prior to participating in an at-home regimen. Without the proper guidance and support, the opioid withdrawal process can lead to uncomfortable side effects that make quitting more difficult. These withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Problems sleeping
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Runny eyes and nose
  • Diarrhea

Directions for How To Use The Thomas Recipe

The Thomas Recipe follows a strict detox schedule spanning two weeks or more depending on the severity of the addiction. The regimen can be divided into less than ten steps, though the recipe may vary slightly from one source to the next.

Some of the key steps in the Thomas Recipe schedule include:

  1. Try to take at least a week off from work to fully commit to the detox schedule without interference.
  2. Take vitamin and mineral supplements immediately and every day, preferably with potassium-enriched food like bananas to help combat muscle aches. The supplements should include at least 100% of the recommended daily allowance of zinc, phosphorus, copper, magnesium and potassium. They should also include Vitamin B6 and L-tyrosine.
  3. Take a benzodiazepine, preferably Valium, regularly and in safe doses to induce sleep. Taper off of the drug gradually each day to avoid dependence. By day four, stop taking benzodiazepines. There is no over-the-counter alternative for this step, so a prescription from your healthcare provider would be necessary.
  4. Take Imodium AD (loperamide) as often as needed to combat diarrhea symptoms.
  5. Take hot baths or showers frequently to help ease muscle aches and to encourage comfortable sleep.

Thomas Recipe Ingredients

A former opiate addict designed the Thomas Recipe as a regimen to withdraw from heroin addiction. For that reason, some of the ingredients include physician-prescribed medication and some items easily found in the drug store.  Though the ingredients may vary from modified versions, the core Thomas Recipe ingredients include:

  • Benzodiazepines: preferably Valium or Klonopin, since they are the easiest to taper from. Other options include Librium, Ativan or Xanax. Benzodiazepines help to combat anxiety symptoms, but they are controlled substances and are only available through prescription.
  • Imodium AD or an equivalent to help with diarrhea
  • L-Tyrosine 500mg capsules, which are amino acid supplements that purport to produce dopamine and decrease stress
  • Multivitamins with at least 100% of your daily requirements of zinc, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and copper
  • Vitamin B6
  • Access to a jacuzzi, hot bath or hot shower to aid with muscle aches and sleep
  • Bananas are optional but encouraged since they are rich in potassium.

What Are the Risks of Detoxing With The Thomas Recipe?

Finding ingredients for the Thomas Recipe can be difficult, specifically because it includes prescription medication. The benzodiazepines used can also be highly addictive, so it is important to discuss your plan with a physician or addiction counselor. You may be unable to receive medication outside of their counsel.

Further, mixing benzos with opioids can be dangerous and increase the risk of overdose. If the opioid is not out of your system by the time you start taking a benzo, you may increase your chances of overdose and death.

Certain ingredients included in the home remedy may also have a harmful drug interaction with your current medications, or you may have an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the recipe.

Lastly, the ingredients for the Thomas Recipe can be expensive. Before deciding to participate in this regimen, ensure you have all the resources to follow through with the program, including support from your doctor. If not, participating in a more supervised treatment program may be the better option for you.

Using The Thomas Recipe for Suboxone Detox

Very little information is available about using The Thomas Recipe for suboxone detox. If you are currently prescribed suboxone to prevent an opioid relapse and hoping to stop the medication, it is important to first talk to your doctor. Although some people are able to stop taking suboxone, others may benefit from taking the drug indefinitely to avoid opioid relapse.

How To Determine if You Need To Seek Medical Assistance for Your Detox

You may need additional medical support for detox if you have experienced any of the following:

If you have encountered issues with home detox remedies or worry about their safety, The Recovery Village and our team of trained medical professionals are ready to help. With individualized treatment options and medical support, The Recovery Village can guide you to the best recovery option to help you overcome your addiction. Contact us today to discuss your options.

Melissa Carmona
Editor – Melissa Carmona
Melissa Carmona puts years of writing and editing experience to work helping people understand substance abuse, addiction and mental health disorders. Read more
Jessica Pyhtila
Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more

American Society of Addiction Medicine. “National Practice Guideline For the Trea[…]2020 Focused Update,” December 18, 2019. Accessed August 26, 2021.

World Health Organization. “Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Manag[…]e in Closed Settings.” 2009. Accessed August 26, 2021.

Burbidge, Sara; Rogers, Ashley; Walker, Eric. “Opioid Withdrawal and Treatment Home Remedies.” Accessed August 26, 2021.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Benzodiazepines and Opioids.” February 3, 2021. Accessed August 26, 2021.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.