Drug addiction is a phrase that often brings to mind heroin addicts, cocaine abusers, crack addicts and other characters often seen on television and film – these are your stereotypical street drug abusers. Yes, these are dangerous substances that should be avoided at all costs. But what about some of the other drugs that people mistakenly think are safer for them?
We’ve seen how that misinformation has played out in the United States with regard to the prescription drug abuse epidemic that’s taken over the nation, thanks in part to people’s misconceptions about the supposed safety of these narcotics. So as long as we avoid illicit substances and don’t abuse prescription drugs, we should be all good, right?
Making this short-sighted assumption would do the drug addiction recovery world a great disservice as it would completely ignore those who abuse OTC drugs, or over-the-counter medications. You’ve probably heard about people who abuse OTC sleep medications, like NyQuil and cough syrup like Robitussin, to get a hallucinogenic high, but you may not have heard about the growing portion of the population that’s abusing diet pills.
Diet pills account for one of the most dangerous and unhealthy ways an individual can attempt to lose weight. The general public again can falsely assume that since these pills are sold everywhere from grocery stores to gas stations, they won’t be able to develop a drug addiction to them. Sadly, active ingredients like Ephedrine, Caffeine and Phenylpropranolamine are some of the most widely available addictive substances. Many individuals will start taking a few diet pills here and there, and before they’ve realized what’s happened, they become physically and mentally dependent on them.
What Makes Diet Pills So Dangerous?
Individuals may need to enter drug addiction recovery programs, like the ones at Destination Hope, for dependence on diet pills, because like so many other harmful substances, diet pills affect the central nervous system. These substances act as stimulants, similarly to how speed and cocaine do, and they can have incredibly dangerous side effects that include cardiac arrest, strokes, seizures and even death. People can become addicted to the rush of adrenaline these substances bring to them, and they can then start to feel extremely depressed without them, further reinforcing their need to take more.
Drug Addiction and Eating Disorders
Let’s also be sure and not forget the undeniable connection between eating disorders and drug addiction. Over half of the individuals in this country with an eating disorder also engage in drug or alcohol abuse. The quest to be thin can take an awful, frightening turn with the aid of substances like diet pills and can lead to eating disorders Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge-Eating Disorder. Diet pills can also serve as a bit of a gateway drug to harder stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine when the users stop getting the results they want from the OTC pills.
Destination Hope is the premier drug, alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment center in South Florida. This gender-specific rehab caters strictly to the unique needs that women and men possess. If there’s a person in your life who’s developed a problem with OTC drugs or other substances, please put her in contact with Destination Hope today. By doing so, you could help save her life.