July 12, 2024


Health know-how

Can you become addicted to diet pills?

Can you become addicted to diet pills?

Throughout the United States and much of the world, the use of diet pills for the purpose of losing weight is popular. Diet pills have the potential to help those who need to lose weight, though they can be abused and users are at risk of becoming addicted to these pills, so caution is needed when using them for weight loss.

The Purpose of Diet Pills

Diet pills are medications available both over the counter and by prescription. These medications should only be taken under direct supervision from your doctor. Diet pills typically work in a few different ways. Sometimes, they work to suppress the appetite of the person taking the pill. Some pills make it harder for that person’s body to absorb the fat from the food they are eating. Other diet pills may stimulate the metabolism, making the user feel a sense of being ‘full’ or slowing the body’s production of fat.

While it may be easy to assume that a medication is safe because it has been prescribed by a health professional, this simply isn’t true. Misusing or abusing any medication, especially those prescribed by a doctor, can lead to a number of adverse consequences. Even when diet pills are taken correctly, there is a potential for addiction to occur. Because of this, anyone who is considering taking diet pills should be very cautious with what they are taking, and how long they plan to take the medication.

Yes, You Can Become Addicted to Diet Pills

Unfortunately, it is possible to become addicted to diet pills, even when they have been prescribed to you. There are a vast number of reasons diet pills may become addictive to some people.

  • Body Image Problems: One of the most common reasons diet pills are abused is the user having negative views of their own body. Body image problems can happen to people of any gender, any age, and as a result of a multitude of influences.
  • Obesity: Those who are dealing with obesity often end up abusing diet pills by taking more than they are directed to. This commonly leads to dependence and symptoms of withdrawal when trying to stop taking the pills.
  • Dependence on addictive substances: Some diet pills have ingredients that are considered to be addictive substances, such as amphetamines in certain appetite suppressants.
  • Eating Disorders: The presence of an eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia can increase an individual’s chance of developing an addiction to diet pills.
  • Emotional Dependence: Another large cause of diet pill addiction is developing an emotional dependence on diet pills being taken. Those who develop emotional dependence often feel they cannot succeed without diet pills, fearing they will gain the weight they may have lost back if they do not continue to take the pills.
  • Fear of withdrawal: Those who become dependent on diet pills often feel they cannot make it through the withdrawal symptoms they may encounter when stopping diet pills. Because they fear the negative symptoms of quitting, they make their addiction more severe.
  • Psychological Issues: Mental health issues like anxiety and depression are factors that may increase the potential one has of developing an addiction to diet pills.

Symptoms of Diet Pill Addiction

Those who develop an addiction to diet pills may experience a number of different symptoms, both physical and psychological.

Physical symptoms of diet pill addiction include, but are not limited to:

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Digestion issues: including stomach ache, nausea, and vomiting
  • Increased diet pill tolerance: those who become addicted to diet pills sometimes experience a decreased effectiveness of the pills, resulting in a perceived need to take more.
  • Headaches
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Pain in the chest, with a rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Blurred Vision
  • Blackouts

When severe cases of diet pill addiction go untreated, there is the potential for other serious symptoms such as extreme kidney and liver damage, heart failure, respiratory failure, and stroke. Overdoses of diet pills are also possible.

Another large aspect of diet pill addiction is the psychological effects it can have on a person. Common psychological symptoms of diet pill addiction include:

  • Anxiety and mood changes
  • Paranoia
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Emotional Dependence
  • Low self-esteem
  • Isolating oneself

Both physical and psychological symptoms of diet pill addiction can affect a person greatly.

Treatment for Diet Pill Addiction

Luckily, treatment for diet pill addiction is available. Inpatient drug rehab is a common treatment option for diet pill addiction. Patients are able to focus solely on their treatment program while being supervised by medical professionals. After detox, patients take part in counseling and therapy programs, as well as receiving treatment for any co-occurring disorders.

All In All

Because developing a dependence or addiction is a possibility when taking diet pills, it is important to remember that treatment is available. Those considering diet pills should only do so under the close supervision of a doctor, typically for a short period of time. Those who believe they may have developed a dependence or addiction to diet pills should seek help immediately, as it is available.

About Patrick Bailey

Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.