Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope
Because our society is saturated with a culture that regards thinness and idolizes skinniness, an underlying message is often projected. It is seen on billboards, joked about on TV shows, observed among celebrities and the topic of discussion among health professionals and the general public alike.
This message is simply that being “Fat” is to be failure, and that success is achieved by the thin and slender. While this message can be not be farther from the truth, it is the driving marketing message of a billion dollar dieting industry, trying to sell consumers products that will guarantee weight loss.
Extreme Methods of Weight Loss
And even while it seems to be common sense that restricting and severe dieting measures only lead to deprivation and do not serve as long-term weight solutions, more and more Americans are trying to lose weight. According to a recent survey by the Calorie Control Council, over 50 percent of adults in the United States were attempting to reduce their weight through dieting measures in 2013, a number that has likely increased in the past couple years1.
Even after failed diet after yet another failed diet, people looking to lose weight may continue to try extreme methods out of desperation and perhaps frustration.
One such extreme method is the use of illicit drugs, particularly methamphetamines, in hopes that weight loss might be achieved. Methamphetamines are a class of substances that function as a stimulant, which can increase stamina, energy, wakefulness, while decreasing appetite and the urge to eat. Sounds like the dieters solution? Wrong.
Methamphetamine Use for Weight Loss
The use of methamphetamines does not come without severe risks and consequences. Individuals who use methamphetamines might experience weight loss as a result of becoming more active and/or decreasing overall calories. However using an illicit drug to achieve weight loss involves harmful risks that would far outweigh any benefit from losing weight. Weight loss that results from amphetamine use may also contribute to malnutrition, which can essentially destroy many of the systems in the body.
While taken at face value, amphetamine use might seem like a practical solution to a difficult problem, it is in fact not a solution at all. Many individuals seeking weight loss often desire quick results.
In order to lose weight healthily, in a way that does not compromise or jeopardize the body, this process should occur slowly. In fact, it is recommended that no more than 1-2 pounds of weight be lost per week. Quick fix diets that advertise weight loss of 20 or more pounds in a short amount of time only give false hope and a far-fetched goal that is unattainable.
Seeking Out Professional Help
If you or someone you care for has been abusing or misusing amphetamines in attempt to lose weight, it is absolutely crucial that you seek out professional help and medical treatment.
The use of amphetamines can cause serious side effects, and chronic use of this substance can lead to a debilitating addiction. No amount of weight loss is worth these risks. If you have found yourself struggling with an addiction to this drug, please know that there is help for recovery from amphetamines.
Getting to a Healthy Place in Your Life
Perhaps you have been struggling with your weight and find yourself desparate to get to a place that is healthy for you. There are healthy and appropriate measures that can be taken that will not compromise your body.
Consider working with a registered dietitian who can help support your journey towards achieving a weight that is appropriate for your body and stature. Any weight loss will be achieved by dedication and commitment to lifestyle changes, such as making healthy food choices and engaging in movement that helps you become active. Healthy changes happen one step at a time.
Community Discussion – share your thoughts here!
Did you ever turn to meth use as a means of achieving weight loss? If so, what detrimental effects did you observe? How did you over come use of meth and establish healthier ways of achieving weight loss?
- Calorie Control Council, “Trends and Statistics”, http://www.caloriecontrol.org/press-room/trends-and-statistics Accessed 19 July 2015
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on August 8th, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com