The desire to be thinner has become an obsession in modern society, and there is no shortage of solutions offered up by companies eager to make a profit. Some diet pills are prescribed by doctors, while many more can be found over-the-counter. But whether a doctor advises their use to begin with, or the user finds a type of pill in the store that he or she likes, the potential for abuse is there. Diet pill addiction is real and can prove destructive if left untreated.
People with eating disorders are particularly vulnerable to the marketing of diet pills, as evidenced by a study published in the medical journal Eating Behaviors. Researchers found that people who were prone to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa were more prone to take diet pills, which only further exacerbated the problems surrounding their disorders.
If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction to diet pills, it is important that you seek help from a professional rehabilitation center. With the right help, you can leave your addiction behind and find better ways to lead a healthy life.
What Are Diet Pills?
Diet pills represent a broad category that encompasses any pill claiming to aid in weight loss. While the prescription medications offered tend to stay fairly consistent – with new additions arriving only infrequently – the over-the-counter diet pill market is in constant fluctuation. Many times one commercial pill will become popular, only to be taken off the market when regulators realize how dangerous it is. As soon as one pill disappears, numerous others pop up to take its place.
What the pill contains dictates what it is supposed to do. Orlistat is designed to suppress the appetite and make food taste less appealing, while Pramlintide slows down the bowel so the user feels full for a longer period of time. The majority of diet pills, however, are stimulants – which suppress appetite and increase activity.
Stimulants, even over-the-counter stimulants, can be addictive when used regularly. That is why it is possible for users to suffer from addiction even when they use pills they assume are safe.
How are Diet Pills Abused?
Diet pills are usually taken orally, although it is possible that once the user starts taking the pills for recreational use he or she may use other routes of administration – depending on what is in the pill. If someone is using Adderall for weight loss, he or she may eventually start crushing up the pills to snort them or even inject them.
Effects of Diet Pill Addiction
When prescription and over-the-counter drugs are used as recommended, the danger to the user is usually minimal. But, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse points out, when these drugs are used in greater quantities, they can present real danger to the health of the user.
The addictive quality of most diet pills is the result of the stimulants the pills contain. They may have amphetamine in them, or they may have something in them that closely mimics amphetamine.
The dangers of stimulant use may include:
Anxiety and Irritability
Too much stimulant use can cause anxiety, irritability, and paranoia. Even a normally calm and kind person can become much more quick to express anger, and may have significant emotional outbursts to seemingly small issues.
Stimulants overload the dopamine receptors in the brain, which can cause the brain to stop producing as much dopamine on its own. When the stimulant use stops or the user runs out, the brain lacks the normal levels of dopamine it had before. Severe depression can result, and it may take weeks or even months to return to normal.
Long-term stimulant use has been associated with heart damage, heart attacks, and strokes. The body is under increased stress for as long as the drug lasts, which can cause damage to internal organs that the user is not even aware of.
While using the diet pills weight loss can be substantial, but as soon as the user stops taking the pills the weight tends to come back quickly – and often the user will gain even more weight than he or she had before pill use started.
Treatment Options For Diet Pill Abuse
Quitting diet pills can be hard or even impossible on your own, but you do not have to do this all alone. There are rehab programs available that can make quitting easier and more permanent.
Popular rehab treatments for diet pills include:
Medically Assisted Detoxification
Depending on the severity of your addiction and the substance you are addicted to, medically assisted detox may be the best way to come safely off the drug.
An inpatient residential treatment program lets you escape from your current environment to a safe place. Here you can get exactly the treatments you need to recover. Many inpatient drug rehab programs treat multiple conditions, also referred to as dual-diagnosis, so you can get help with eating disorders along with diet pill addiction.
An outpatient program can help you stay clean over the long term. Group, individual and other treatments are available.
Contact Us Today For Rehab Options
Please contact us to learn more about the rehabilitation options available to you for diet pill addiction. We are ready to help you find the right rehab for your needs!