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Diet pills include any type of prescription or over-the-counter supplements designed to help an individual reduce or control weight.

Diet pills can also be referred to as appetite suppressants, anorectic or anorexiant drugs, the anti-obesity medication, or centrally acting anti-obesity preparations. Diet pills claim to achieve weight loss by altering appetite levels, increasing metabolism, or interrupting the normal absorption of calories or fat. 

Many prescription diet pills are categorized as Schedule III or Schedule IV substances under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The CSA provides a mechanism for substances to be controlled, categorized, and regulated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as each substance is sorted into one of five schedules, whose placement is based on the substance’s medical use, the potential for abuse, and dependence liability. This is intended to keep diet pills in the hands of those medically in need as well as to prevent abuse. However, despite these regulations, diet pills are abused at an alarming rate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asserts that abuse of these drugs, especially over-the-counter dietary aids, is a national problem in the United States. 

Signs and Symptoms

Addiction to diet pills is highly common. The National Comorbidity Survey Replication conducted a large epidemiological study that found 6% of adolescent girls and 4% of adolescent boys reported previous-month use of diet products without being under the supervision of a physician. A study released by the University of Minnesota’s, Project EAT (Eating and Activity over Time), found that high school-aged females’ use of diet pills nearly doubled from 7.5% to 14.2%, and by the ages of 19 and 20, 20% of females surveyed used diet pills. An individual struggling with a diet pill addiction could exhibit any of the following examples of signs and symptoms, provided by the American Psychiatric Association:

  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Stomach pain
  • Rapid respiratory rate
  • Severe headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Liver/ kidney damage
  • Chronic mood swings
  • Blackouts
  • Memory loss

The effects of abusing diet pills can range in severity and have adverse physical, psychological, and social implications. There are many factors that can contribute to the development of an addiction to diet pills. 

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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