Diet Pill Addiction
Diet pills are any type of “medication” or supplement that is marketed to control or reduce weight. There are numerous diet pills that have been produced and promoted for weight loss but only one is actually approved by the FDA for long term use. Diet pills always claim to achieve weight loss by increasing the metabolism, altering appetite levels, or interrupting the normal rate of absorption when it comes to fat and/or calories. The majority of diet pills can be purchased at pharmacies, over the counter without a prescription. This is especially dangerous because not only are the diet pills not approved by the FDA but they also can be bought by minors. Diet pills usually contain large amounts of addictive substances such as ephedrine, caffeine, or herbal stimulants which can have severe side effects. This is especially true if the individual taking the diet pills develops a diet pill addiction.
A diet pill addiction can develop at any time throughout an individual’s lifetime. This means that all age groups are vulnerable to a diet pill addiction. The statistics about diet pill addiction are helpful in realizing and understanding fully, the fragility of a diet pill addiction and how to improve the treatment of it.
- A study from the University of Minnesota’s “Project EAT (Eating Among Teens) found that high school-aged females’ use of diet pills nearly doubled from 7.5 to 14.2 percent. By the ages of 19 and 20, 20 percent of females surveyed used diet pills.
- Abuse of diet pills by individuals with eating disorders is well-documented clinically, with prevalence estimates reported as high as 50%.
- According to a study published in Eating Behaviors, individuals with eating disorders associated with vomiting and other purging behaviors are more likely to use diet pills.
What is the cause of a diet pill addiction?
Many things can cause a diet pill addiction. Typically a diet pill addiction begins with the want for a a temporary or quick fix for weight loss. Individuals who use diet pills under a doctor’s care with a prescription may have an actual need for the drug. However, when diet pills are just used recreationally or for non-medical purposes, it becomes a diet pill addiction. Men and women alike, who struggle with body image, even at a normal weight may feel inclined to use diet pills as a method of controlling their weight or losing weight. Body image dysmorphia or the inability to see one’s body clearly can be one of the biggest causes of a diet pill addiction. For example, someone who is suffering from anorexia nervosa is very likely to have a diet pill addiction. Feeling the necessity or want to take diet pills stem from deeper and underlying issues which are all usually connected.
Signs of a diet pill addiction
Certain signs and symptoms will be evident if you or a loved one is suffering with a diet pill addiction. Diet pill effects can range in severity and can impact a man or woman physically, psychologically, and socially.
- Chest pain
- Irregular heart beat
- Mood swings
- Stomach pain
- Rapid respiratory rate
- Severe headaches
- Blurred vision
- Liver/Kidney damage
- Chronic mood swings
- Memory loss
Someone with a diet pill addiction may also deal with the side effects physically, psychologically, and socially. For instance, unstable weight, headaches, tightness in chest, heart palpitations, dizziness, stroke, and mood swings, depression, and low self-esteem as well as, increased isolation, difficulty maintaining healthy relationships, and avoidance of social encounters.