Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope
In our diet crazed-society and in culture that promotes the message that “thinner is better”, many people will go to any lengths in attempt to lose weight. Unfortunately, these can lead to dangerous methods and approaches that are often taken in the name of weight loss, and the physical consequences that may result can make things much more complicated.
Individuals attempting to lose weight may try several different approaches, including extreme diet regiments, strict exercise and training routines, diet pills, supplements, disordered eating behaviors and even drug use.
A Rare, But Extreme Method for Weight Loss
While drug use may not be commonly thought of as a means by which people attempt to lose weight, there are some medications and substances that act as a stimulant, temporarily increasing stamina, energy and drive. Such substances might include prescription medications that act as stimulants or street drugs.
One of the most common types of substances that are used as a stimulant and appetite suppressant includes Amphetamines. Amphetamines are a synthetic drug which is a scheduled II controlled substance. Amphetamines can be used both legally and illegally, as is commonly the substance that is prescribed to children with attention deficient disorder and adults with narcolepsy.
Why Amphetamines Are Abused
Taken without a prescription and the guidance of a physician, amphetamines are commonly abused for reasons other than treating a medical condition. Because amphetamines stimulate the central nervous system, these substances can essentially suppress appetite, increase energy levels, induce wakefulness and promote increased focus and attention.
For a person who is looking for a quick fix, in terms of weight loss, amphetamines can be appealing and desirable.
Amphetamines are not prescribed for weight loss, and any individual who is using these substances for this purpose is likely abusing them. Amphetamines might be obtained from another adult or child who is legally prescribed the drug, off the streets or through black markets. For some people, the desire to lose weight can be so intense that it drives them to make choices that can potentially jeopardize their health and life.
Use for One Reason Can Spiral Out of Control
While amphetamines may induce weight loss, the effects of the drug are usually temporary. The dangerous cycle can be perpetuated as a person using amphetamines for weight loss observes the desired effects. Achieving weight loss can drive a person to abuse the drugs further or perhaps, take higher dosages. The positive effect of weight loss can cause an individual to feel justified in their misuse of the drug as they sense a desired result from their behaviors.
The misuse of amphetamines can lead to dangerous risks, including fatality. There is no approved dosage of amphetamines for weight loss, and overdosing on amphetamines can lead to a series of physical effects, including:
- Difficulty breathing
- Vision changes
- Trouble sleeping or insomnia
- Irregular heartbeat
- Cardiovascular complications, among other things
The weight loss that may result from amphetamine use will likely be regained and more with continued use of the drug. Long-term use of amphetamines can lead to addiction, which only leads to more complicated issues.
Seeking Out Care
If you have turned to amphetamines for weight loss, please be sure to seek out appropriate help and care. The temporary gains you may feel you have achieved in terms of weight loss while on amphetamines is not worth the risk of the many side effects that can result from misusing this substance.
There are many healthier approaches to weight loss that can support your longevity and overall health. Before attempting any weight loss plan, be sure to discuss these concerns with your doctor. Professionals, such as medial doctors and registered dietitians, can help support a healthy weight loss plan, if this is something that is appropriate for you.
If you have found yourself addicted to amphetamines as a result of misuse, be sure to reach out to a specialist for help in overcoming this struggle.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
Have you or someone you care for utilized amphetamines in attempt to lose weight? How did this effect you and what did you do to free yourself from the use of amphetamines?
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 31st, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com