Most Dangerous Prescription Drugs: Diet Pills
When it comes to the most dangerous prescription drugs, we don’t often think diet pills really fit that bill, but it turns out that these can be extremely problematic for those who take them. While much of the time, these medications are taken as a way to help a person get started burning calories and boosting energy, they can quickly become something more dangerous.
Before we explore their dangers, though, we need to understand more about prescription diet pills. What are they? How do they work? Are they commonly prescribed?
Do People Still Take Prescription Diet Pills?
Many of us don’t understand that diet pills that your doctor gives you are still out there. Some people need and want to lose weight, but due to medical conditions or just being at a place where they can’t do it alone, weight loss is more of a challenge than they can take on. When this happens, your doctor might decide that it’s a good idea to give you a prescription medication to help you shed those pounds.
Many people do take diet pills that are prescribed by their healthcare provider with really great results. For some, the boost of these medications makes tackling their weight loss goals possible.
It is important to note, though, that it’s unlikely that your doctor will prescribe these medications to you if you don’t meet certain criteria. You must be a certain amount of pounds overweight, for instance, and other weight loss methods have to be failing for you.
Most of the time, people don’t get diet pills unless they have a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or higher, or if they have a BMI of 27 and are struggling with weight-related conditions like high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.
How do They Work?
While some diet medications simply work to block the amount of fat your body absorbs and help you lose weight in that way, other diet medications are stimulants. They work to curb the appetite and boost your energy levels. Amphetamines as diet pills work to speed up your body systems. So, where you used to be sluggish and not so likely to move a lot, some diet pills actually increase your energy levels and kick-start your metabolism in the process.
They also work to increase your heart rate, your blood pressure and are potentially habit-forming. For this reason, they become very dangerous.
In some cases, the FDA even recommends that you stop taking these medications after a certain amount of time, and some prescription diet drugs require that you have your heart monitored and don’t become pregnant while you’re taking them, making them quite dangerous for the user if they take it for the long-term.
Why Are Prescription Diet Pills Abused
While some people might not understand the draw of prescription diet pills, others find that the boost they get when they take these medications is enough to make them want more. Sometimes, a person is prescribed these medications to help them get started on their weight loss journey, and they find that they really like the results. Other times, these drugs are taken illicitly because of stimulating effects. They are often taken like ADHD medications in this place because they offer the user seemingly limitless energy.
Sometimes, when people want to lose weight, but they don’t have a high enough BMI or weight, they choose to get these medications through illegal means, and that can have a tremendously negative effect on overall health.
What Makes Diet Pills Some of the Most Dangerous Prescription Drugs?
Some prescription diet pills are simply effective. They do not have negative side effects, and they are not stimulants. These medications are not often abused, and work best when diet changes and exercise are embraced.
The most commonly abused prescription diet pills include stimulants, and stimulants have been known to have negative side effects that include:
- High blood pressure. Stimulants speed up your whole system. They also cause your blood vessels to constrict and this can cause your blood pressure to increase and create damage to your heart over time.
- Increased heart rate. When your heart beats faster and harder than normal for long periods of time, it can suffer damage. Hearts are muscles, and they need to rest and relax. Some prescription diet pills make it difficult for the heart to beat normally because the body processes are stimulated to work harder.
- Increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Most of the time, when taken as directed for a short amount of time, even stimulant prescription diet pills can be safely taken and offer results, however, long-term illicit use of these drugs can have some pretty negative effects. An increased risk of heart attack and stroke sits at the top of the list because increased blood pressure and heart rate over time can put you at greater risk for these situations.
- Extreme weight loss. While you might not know it, stimulant diet drugs can actually make you lose an unhealthy amount of weight. When we rapidly lose weight, we can actually find that we wind up malnourished. Over time, taking too many stimulant diet pills can cause extreme weight loss, which is just as dangerous as being obese.
- A risk for overdose. Very simply, it is possible to overdose on prescription diet pills, and when you’re not careful, it can even happen to you. If you’ve been prescribed this medication, you should never take more than prescribed, as this can cause negative health effects.
- Addiction. You should also know that stimulants boost the production of essential brain hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which make us feel really good. When you’re abusing these drugs, or even taking them long term, it is possible to develop an addiction to them, so you should be careful how long you use these medications.
If you Find that You or a Loved One is Hooked on Prescription Diet Pills
At first, it can be hard to spot a prescription diet medication addiction or abuse. Yes, you know that your loved one got these medications from her doctor, but you might not see that more is being taken than prescribed. Or, if your loved one is taking them illicitly, you might only notice that your loved one seems to always be going.
If you’re the one that has been prescribed diet pills and you notice that you are starting to want more and more of your medication, your weight loss success has blown your mind and you want more, or you simply don’t want to stop taking your stimulant diet drugs, you might have a problem with your diet medications and should consider stopping taking them. Talk to your doctor to see about cutting down on them, or if you have an addiction to them.
If you find that a loved one is struggling with prescription diet pill abuse, it’s important to understand that getting him or her to just stop might not be possible. These medications can be dangerous when stopped suddenly, as they can cause withdrawal symptoms. Also, it’s important to note that many times, when these medications are abused, it has to do with negative body image, so the idea of stopping taking them to your loved one is really scary.
Addiction treatment can help your loved one to stop taking prescription diet drugs safely and keep extra weight off. It can also help your loved one to enjoy a more positive body image.
If you find that your or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to these dangerous prescription drugs, give us a call. At Elite Rehab Placement, we take the stigma out of needing to attend rehab, and we do it in a way that ensures you get the treatment you really need.
Our no-cost to you service gives you the flexibility and freedom to choose addiction treatment that makes sense for you. We even work with your insurance to make sure that you’re going to have the most affordable, positive rehab experience possible.
Diet pills are considered some of the most dangerous prescription drugs for a reason, don’t let something that is meant to be good get out of hand. Give us a call today and let us help you kick your addiction to stimulant diet medications, so you can start living healthy, and addiction-free again.