Home > The Complex Nature of Abused Substances and Getting Help for Addiction > Diet Pill Addiction
Diet pills are herbal supplements and pharmaceutical drugs that are used as a means of losing weight. They can be over the counter medication or prescription-only but all have the same target of reducing or controlling weight. Diet pills, also known as anti-obesity medication, alter the body’s processing by altering appetite, metabolism or absorption of fat or calories. This results in a person eating less food, burning more calories or absorbing less fat.
Diet pills are usually taken as a quick fix for obesity or overweight issues. But individuals who are within normal weight ranges often take this type of drugs to stay slim or maintain a low body weight. People who suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia or body dysmorphia may also take these drugs which will contribute to their poor mental and physical heath. The weight loss results are typically temporary especially if not used in conjunction with any other health regime.
Diet pills can cause serious and dangerous side effects which is why they should only ever be used when under medical supervision. Common side effects range from mood swings, chest pain, tremors, irregular heart beat, teeth grinding, exhaustion, nausea, anxiety, insomnia and stomach pain. In some cases individuals may experience hallucinations, seizures, severe headaches, blurred vision and vomiting. Some medications have been found to have dangerous interactions with other medications and can contribute to kidney or liver damage.
In addition to the negative physical side effects that diet pills can have, they are incredibly dangerous to mental health and well being. A person who begins to abuse a diet pill does so because they are unhappy with their weight and their self image. Using a pill to solve these concerns does not fix the problem at all, and it may in fact contribute to worsening problems. For some people, diet pills do not even offer a significant reduction in weight and they may begin to abuse a number of different pills, putting their health in jeopardy.
The most commonly abused diet pills are appetite suppressant medications. These drugs are amphetamine-type drugs which have high addiction and misuse rates. Appetite suppressant drugs stimulate the release of brain chemicals which reduce the sensation of hunger. Additionally, these medications often have a stimulative affect on the body which can increase energy levels and help someone be motivated to do exercise. The drugs can make a person have stamina, mild euphoria and people may find they have exceptional weight loss when using these drugs.
Appetite suppressant medication is designed to be used by people who have serious addictive eating disorders, binge eaters or people who are morbidly obese. For people with these conditions, it is very difficult to reduce the amount of food they are consuming and there are significant health conditions they may be suffering as a result. A doctor will prescribe an appetite suppressant to break the habitual eating and help the person get on the road to recovery. It is also beneficial for these people as it can assist with other medication or medical interventions.
As with other amphetamine drugs, appetite suppressants are highly addictive and tolerance builds fast. Once tolerance builds, dependency sets in and it can be a long and difficult addiction with painful withdrawals experienced when trying to stop taking the drug. Chronic use of appetite suppressants may cause a person to be depressed, anxious, have memory loss and paranoia. Diet pills can be very dangerous when used inappropriately. Reports of blackouts, seizures, hallucinations, chronic mood swings and heart issues are common results of abusing these drugs.
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