Abuse of Diet Pills
Modern diet pills effectively replaced amphetamines as appetite suppressants. But these two types of drugs have a lot of similarities.
Although prescription and over-the-counter diet pills may seem harmless, abusing them can actually lead to dangerous side effects. It’s even possible to develop an addiction. In fact, this problem is not uncommon at all.
According to a study from the University of Minnesota, 62.7 percent of teenage girls use diet pills and other forms of “unhealthy weight control behaviors”. This same study showed that 20 percent of girls had used diet pills by the ages of 19 and 20.
This may have something to do with the fact that approximately 24 million people in the United States struggle with an eating disorder.
Here we’re taking a closer look at the effects of diet pill abuse and addiction.
Diet Pill Overview
The term “diet pill” encompasses a wide range of over-the-counter and prescription supplements that are designed to help the user control or reduce their weight. They work mainly by suppressing appetite, preventing fat absorption, or increasing a person’s metabolism.
Diet pills are also sometimes referred to as anorectic drugs, anorexiant drugs, anti-obesity medication, and appetite suppressants.
Under the Controlled Substances Act, many prescription diet pills fall under Schedule III or IV. This is to prevent the abuse of these substances. Unfortunately, diet pills are still abused despite these regulations.
Both prescription and over-the-counter diet pills have their own risks. Just because they are prescribed by a doctor or readily available at the drugstore doesn’t mean they are completely safe, especially if they are misused.
Do not take diet pills outside of the recommended dose. Taking diet pills in a way that is not prescribed by a doctor is considered drug abuse.
Here are some of the most commonly abused prescription and over-the-counter diet pills: Benzphetamine, Diethylpropion, Mazindol, and Phentermine.
Benzphetamine, also known as Didrex, is an appetite-suppressant that is related to amphetamines. Diethylpropion, also known as Tepanil or Tenuate, is also designed to suppress appetite.
Mazindol is also known as Mazanor or Sanorex, and is only approved for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. However, it is abused by some people because of its appetite-suppressing properties.
Phentermine, also known by the names Adipex and Ionamin, can help reduce weight in people who are overweight.
Diet Pill Abuse and Effects
Modern diet pills effectively replaced amphetamines as appetite suppressants. But these two types of drugs have a lot of similarities. This, however, includes the potential for developing addiction and dependence.
While diet pills are supposed to suppress a person’s appetite, they can also cause feelings of euphoria, which may be an addictive experience for users. Other factors such as genetics and environment can influence the development of a diet pill addiction.
Diet pill abuse can lead to side effects such as insomnia, dizziness, rashes, chest pain, hallucinations, itching, vomiting, dark urine, swelling of legs and ankles, and yellowing of skin or eyes.
Diet Pill Addiction
Diet pill addiction is often caused by an eating disorder. However, it may also be caused by other mental health disorders, and a wide range of environmental factors.
One of the things that make diet pill addiction so dangerous is the fact that these substances are very easy to obtain. They are readily available over the counter, or by prescription. Addiction can develop quickly. Some people even resort to doctor shopping or visiting different doctors just to get the same prescription for diet pills repeatedly.
It is important to recognize the signs of addiction. Some addicted individuals may try to hide their drug intake because they know they are misusing their doctor’s prescription.
Addiction is characterized by the inability to quit a particular substance, even when it’s already causing them harm. So if someone you love is suffering from the side effects of diet pills and they are still taking them, there’s a possibility that they may be addicted.
The person will develop tolerance for diet pills, meaning they will have to take more of the drug just to experience the same effects. If they try to quit all of a sudden, they may experience withdrawal and intense cravings, which leads to relapse.
Addicted people will prioritize the drug over everything else, losing interest in things they used to enjoy, and even neglecting their responsibilities.
When treating a diet pill addiction, it is just as important to identify the underlying reasons for substance abuse as it is to treat the physical effects of the drugs.
If someone in the family is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to seek help. A combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy can go a long way in the fight against substance abuse. Because every individual is affected by addiction differently, a comprehensive program tailored to their specific needs is necessary. Look for a nearby addiction treatment facility today and find out how drug treatment programs work.
Rehab is Your Best Chance
Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take drugs or alcohol again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.