One thing that the world has way too many of is diet pills. They are everywhere, on TV infomercials, all over TV commercials, in magazines, and they can be found at any local drug store or nutrition center quite easily as most have their own sections. Most of these pills are packaged with models that have perfect bodies and most also claim that all you have to do is take a pill to shed unwanted pounds. No further effort is required, which leads to diet pill abuse in young adults and teens. Many of these drugs have yet to receive FDA endorsements but that doesn't stop most from taking them anyways. Each year, women and men of all age’s abuse diet pills and the result is a psychological and chemical addiction. Continuing to feed the addiction is not a problem since these pills are so readily available. Diet pill abuse can start out unintentionally but as the tolerance develops they find that they need more to lose more weight and to lose it faster. There are a variety of different diet pills on the market today. Some of these pills are designed to block carbs, some are appetite suppressants, some bind fat, and some boost metabolism.

The different types of diet pills:

  • Carb blockers are intended for short-term use and using them longer than the manufacturer suggest can lead to several side effects including diarrhea, bloating, upset stomach and heartburn.
  • Appetite suppressants are most commonly abused. The main ingredient in appetite suppressants are amphetamines that not only suppress the appetite, but increase energy and create a sense of euphoria.
  • Fat binders ensure that fat molecules are too large to be absorbed by the intestines and simply pass through in your stool.
  • Metabolism boosters often contain addictive and dangerous ingredients such as epedra, which was banned by the Food and Drug Administration. Other ingredients to avoid include pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, norephedrine and methylephedrine.
Conventionally, teenage girls are the most common abusers of diet pills, although the pressure to be thin is causing several teenage boys to turn to diet pills too. A 2006 University of Minnesota study labeled “Project Eat” followed the eating and dieting habits of 2,500 high school aged teens for five years. The study found that the use of diet pills by the female participants doubled from 7.5 to 14.2 percent. By the time teenagers reached 19-20, the number of diet pills users jumped to 20 percent. Many of the girls studied were using diet pills at the age of 13.

Signs of diet pill abuse include:

  • Significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Changes in behavior and attitude
  • A steady supply of diet pills on hand
  • An increased heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Hypertension
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Seizure
  • Even Death
Keep in mind, most diet pills are intended for short-term use, and should be taken for no longer than six months. If you suspect a friend, family member or child is abusing diet pills, don't hesitate to seek professional help immediately.
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