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Addiction and Weight Loss Pills

Addiction to weight loss pills is a very real possibility for those who use these medications – even for people who don’t think they are “abusing” the drugs. However, the public’s notions on addiction to substances that they can get over the counter from their local pharmacies is somewhat skewed. Because anyone can just go out and buy these drugs, some people wrongly feel that they must be safe and non addictive. This is not the case, as everything from cold & cough medications to motion sickness tablets to weight loss pills can be dangerously addictive. Understanding this addictive process is critical in order to prevent it.

Weight loss pills are often used by desperate consumers who have tried and failed at many different medication, diet and exercise programs in the past. The idea that there is a pill that can solve their obesity issues is extremely appealing. Unfortunately, many people do not lose any weight or do not lose weight fast enough. This can lead to an over consumption of and eventual addiction to weight loss pills. This is especially concerning considering that there are additional risks associated with these drugs. According to the Wikipedia entry for Anti-Obesity Medication;

“Some anti-obesity drugs have severe or life-threatening side effects. . . These side effects are often associated with their mechanism of action. In general, stimulants carry a risk of high blood pressure, faster heart rate, palpitations, closed-angle glaucoma, drug addiction, restlessness, agitation, and insomnia.” (1)

These side effects can be significantly worse in obese people because of preexisting conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Packaging on most diet pills indicates that a doctor should be consulted prior to use, though it’s likely that only a small percentage of people do so.

Because anti obesity medications work differently for different people, the results of using these drugs are relatively unpredictable. Some people will lose between 5 to 10% of their body fat, while some might realize no weight loss at all. In any case, 5 to 10% isn’t enough for many people and therefore diet pills may be taken for longer than they are intended to be used. Because these drugs are stimulants similar in many ways to drugs like methamphetamine and other types of “speed,” tolerance, dependence and addiction will occur with prolonged use.

Addiction to weight loss pills is a serious, progressive condition that must be treated. This can include:

Residential Inpatient Treatment
Day/Night Treatment
Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Therapies for people suffering from an addiction to weight loss pills generally include programs needed to address the root cause of obesity issues and thereby also address at least some of the cause of addiction as well. According to Livestrong.COM;

“When being treated for an addiction to diet pills, it can be helpful to utilize a multidisciplinary approach that might include a registered dietitian and complementary therapies in addition to a mental health professional.” (2)

Because the risks associated with an addiction to diet pills are so severe, it’s important to reach out for help right now if you or someone you love is suffering from this condition. Call the number at the top of your screen, or send us an email. We’re standing by 24 hours per day to provide a free, confidential consultation. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so call right now.

(1) Wikipedia Anti Obesity Medication
(2) Livestrong.COM Facts on Diet Pill Addiction

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Recovery First is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands... Read More