Posts

Diet Pills

Diet pills are popular because they aid in helping users control or maintain their weight.  But how safe are they?  What are the dangers associated with diet pills?  This post addresses these questions.

Diet pills are both prescription and over-the-counter supplements which inhibit body processes that affect weight by increasing metabolism, suppressing appetite or preventing fat absorption.

In fact, many prescription diet pills are Schedule III or IV drugs which helps to prevent abuse and helps to keep diet pills being prescribed to individuals who truly need and benefit from them. Regardless of these regulations and rules, diet pills are abused at a disturbing rate.

So many individuals in the U.S. are constantly setting goals and making promises to lose weight so it’s not shocking knowledge that diet pills are common and available in several forms. Some of the most commonly abused diet pills as identify by addictioncenter.com include:

“Benzphetamine (Didrex)
An anorectic closely related to amphetamines. Benzphetamine is most commonly sold under the prescription name Didrex, and its main function is to reduce appetite in obese individuals.

Diethylpropion
(Tenuate, Tepanil) Prescribed on a short term basis to suppress appetite.

Mazindol
(Mazanor, Sanorex) (Currently only approved for use in the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, mazindol prescriptions may be abused for their appetite suppressive properties)

Phentermine
(Adipex, Ionamin) Reduces appetite. (Used short term to reduce weight in overweight individuals)”

Last, diet pills were designed to take the place of amphetamines as appetite suppressants and as such, they have a potential for addiction and dependence.  Further, diet pills may cause heightened energy and feelings of euphoria, making the likelihood of addiction more prevalent.  Also from addictioncenter.com, “common side effects of diet pill abuse might include:

Insomnia

Dizziness

Hallucinations

Chest pain

Rash and itching

Swelling of legs and ankles

Vomiting

Yellowing of skin or eyes

Dark urine or light-colored stool”

source: addictioncenter.com

Ritalin Addiction

With all of the media focus on opioid addiction and prescription painkiller regulating, other drugs that are addicting get overlooked, like Ritalin.  Ritalin is often prescribed for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  It helps with focus and attention.  Recently, Ritalin abuse has been seen on college campuses where students are taking the drug (and often becoming addicted to it’s effects) in order to study longer and more effectively or to test better due to improved focus.  However, many do not realize the addictive nature of Ritalin and the risks associated with taking it when it’s not necessary.

For instance, when individuals who have not been prescribed the drug continue to take Ritalin in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms, when they can’t meet their obligations without Ritalin use, and/or feel intense urges to take Ritalin they are definitely experiencing signs of addiction.  Further, if individuals find themselves increasing their Ritalin dose over time to maintain the same effect, take Ritalin in situations where it may not be safe to do so, or are spending a lot of time obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of Ritalin, those symptoms are also red flags of addiction as well.

Treatment for Ritalin addiction is similar to other drug addiction treatment.  Detox needs to occur in a safe medically monitored supervised setting.  Following up with therapy and counseling can then strengthen the individual against returning to Ritalin abuse and addiction.

With prescription drug abuse on the rise in a huge way- especially opioid abuse — individuals are beginning to wonder if they should fill a prescription the doctor willingly gave them following surgery or of chronic pain. A recent article published by US News titled “5 Questions to ask your doctor before you fill that prescription” gives insight into questions that should be addressed and empowers patients to ensure that they need the medications prescribed to them. The questions from the article/slide show on the health.usnews.com website are:

  1. Why am I getting this drug?
  2. What are the risks versus the benefits?
  3. Is there an older drug or lifestyle alteration that works just as well?
  4. Will it interfere with other medications I am taking?
  5. Has this drug been shown to prevent real clinical events?

These questions may seem simple, but asking them may help prevent addiction down the line. Many individuals are aware of their predisposition to addictions and should be especially cautious about taking prescription drugs. Also, education about why a drug is prescribed is something that empowers us to know if we truly need it or want to take it. Knowing if the drug has more risks than benefits can also influence one’s decision to fill a prescription. If the risks outweigh the benefits then it may not be worth it and an alternative can be sought after. Sometimes, taking a prescription drug can be an easier fix for a problem. However, if the fix leads to addiction, and there is a way to recover from a problem simply by lifestyle alteration—whether with diet, exercise, sleep, relocation, etc.,— then many individuals will opt for that. Knowing if alternatives exist is key in staying educated about prescriptions as well. Lastly, if the drug has not been shown to have positive real lasting effects upon its users, then users may opt not to take the prescription as well.

Knowledge is power and becoming aware of the reasons why a physician is prescribing medicine is key in preventing addiction. Talking openly with the doctor about alternative options is smart and preventative. Further, more and more physicians are more thorough in their prescription practices due to the fact that prescription drug addiction is on the rise.

Source: www.health.usnews.com

Here is a follow-up to one of our previous posts about prescription drug abuse.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently published some very informative infographics about prescription drug abuse by state, where people generally find prescription drugs (here’s a hint-it’s generally in the home of someone you know, most likely a family member!), and other statistics.

Drug Overdose Rates

Here is an alarming image showing drug overdose rates by state.  According to information compiled in 2008, Utah has one of the highest overdose rates in the country!

Image courtesy of the CDC.

 

Common Sources for Prescription Drug Abuse

According to the CDC, prescription drugs are generally acquired by:

  • 55% of people obtained them free from a friend or relative
  • 17.3% are prescribed them by a doctor
  • 11.4% bought them from a friend or relative
  • 4.8% took them from a friend or relative without asking

There is a trend here.  A majority of people acquire prescription drugs from a friend or relative!  To help stop this epidemic, prescription drugs should be properly disposed of when treatment is completed.  If continued use of prescription medication is needed, proper care should be taken to ensure that you, or a loved one aren’t abusing.

Statistics Associated with Prescription Drug Abuse

Finally, we wanted to add this infographic on other risks associated with prescription drug abuse.

Image courtesy of the CDC.

As always, it’s never too late to seek help.  If you or someone you know is abusing prescription paid medication, we urge you to seek treatment at a certified Utah rehab center.

The Center for Disease control today released new findings on prescription drug overdoses.  According to the latest findings, prescription drug abuse has skyrocketed in the past decade.  Some of the other stats include:

  • Prescription painkiller overdoses killed nearly 15,000 people in the US in 2008. This is more than 3 times the 4,000 people killed by these drugs in 1999.
  • In 2010, about 12 million Americans (age 12 or older) reported nonmedical use of prescription painkillers in the past year.
  • Nearly half a million emergency department visits in 2009 were due to people misusing or abusing prescription painkillers.
  • Nonmedical use of prescription painkillers costs health insurers up to $72.5 billion annually in direct health care costs.

The entire article can be read here.  Information courtesy of the Center for Disease Control.

Cocaine and meth use declined (finally) in 2007!  However, prescription drug abuse increased dramatically, according to a new U.S. survey.  From 2006 to 2007 cocaine use among young adults decreased 23% and meth use fell 30%…however, the big hit is prescription drug abuse which rose 12%!!!  This information is according to a survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  Another scary not is the fact that since the 1980’s prescription drug abuse has increased five-fold amongst young adults.  The reason the number is so high is because people think if it’s prescribed it’s safe.

© 2019 Turning Point Centers | All Rights Reserved
Font Resize