Using Drugs to Lose Weight

Using Drugs to Lose WeightAwareness about obesity in the United States is increasing due to the staggering numbers of obese citizens. In fact the Get American Fit Foundation (GAF), a non-profit organization with a primary focus on fitness, reports the following statistics:

  • Obesity is the #2 cause of preventable death in the United States
  • 60 million Americans aged 20 years and older are obese
  • 9 million children and teens ages 6-19 are overweight

What Is the Difference between Obese and Overweight?

Obesity is defined by the following two variables:

  • Weight that is greater than 20% more than the average
  • A body fat percentage greater than 30% for women and 25% for men

Below those numbers, a person is considered overweight. Those struggling with obesity need to take serious steps to correct their problems because obesity does increase the risk of health conditions and diseases such as the following:

  • Breast cancer
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type II diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Colon cancer
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke

Methods of Losing Weight

The two most common strategies to lose weight are as follows:

  • Decrease your caloric intake
  • Increase your activity level

Of course combining those two strategies in a carefully managed way provides the healthiest and safest manner to lose weight and maintain your weight loss.
Many Americans resort to weight loss drugs to lose weight; primarily either appetite suppressants or fat absorption inhibitors. As their name implies, one type of drug is designed to minimize hunger while the other restricts the absorption of fat into the body.

Risk of Weight Loss Drugs

Weight loss drugs are intended for short-term use only. Keep in mind that these are controlled substances and that you can become tolerant to their effects after a few months. If you do become tolerant, you may decide to increase the recommended dosage which can put you at risk for addiction. You can witness the impact that these drugs have on your body almost immediately due to the following side effects:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Sweating
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive thirst
  • Lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Dry mouth

What to Do If You Suspect Someone Is Abusing Weight Loss Drugs?

You cannot ignore a person who is abusing weight loss drugs; especially if the person is a teenager or young adult. Abusing a drug to lose weight is not something that a person does impetuously. Often, years of feeling unattractive and unworthy lead to a low self-esteem and hopeless feelings which make some people resort to drugs. These underlying feelings are of great concern and need to be dealt with in a healthy manner.

Help with Drug Addiction and Weight

The sooner you can get help for an eating disorder, the greater the likelihood of recovery. However, people often think there is a stigma associated with an eating disorder and therefore, they do not want to talk to people about it. To be assured of confidentiality as well as to receive answers to any questions you might have, call our toll-free helpline any time; we are available 24 hours a day. We want to help you find the right treatment program to handle eating disorders. We can provide you with options, information about insurance, and resources. We are here to help.