Can You Get Addicted to Phentermine?
What does it mean to be addicted to Phentermine? Phentermine is a Schedule IV controlled substance that can only be obtained legally with a prescription from a healthcare provider. It is used to treat obesity and help people lose weight when other weight loss methods have failed.
When used responsibly and together with an exercise and nutrition program, phentermine helps people lose weight and become healthier. However, when people start abusing phentermine, it could lead to dependence and eventual addiction to the drug.
How widespread is phentermine abuse?
The DEA has placed a low potential for phentermine abuse since the drug must be prescribed. Usually, the only way to obtain a prescription legally is when someone has a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or higher. Even still, the drug could be obtained through illegal sources and has the potential of being abused.
What does phentermine do when it is taken?
Phentermine is a stimulant. The drug is usually taken orally in a pill or capsule and broken down in the stomach and digestive system. It takes about three to four hours for the drug to reach peak concentration in the bloodstream.
As the body digests the drug, it sets off a chemical reaction in the brain. The brain increases the release of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine – all “feel good” natural appetite suppression chemicals. The release of these chemicals combined with the drug sets off other short-term effects, including:
- Feeling Euphoric
- Increased Energy
Those who experience the positive side effects of phentermine could be at risk of developing dependence and addiction to the drug.
However, phentermine has negative side effects, such as chest pain, irritability, and anxiety. As such, those that experience negative side effects are at a lower risk of abusing phentermine.
How long do the effects of phentermine last?
The drug can remain in the body for up to 40 hours. After 20 hours, about half of a dosage has been excreted from the body. After discontinuing the drug, it can take about five days for phentermine to be entirely removed from the body.
Why would someone become addicted to phentermine?
Those who use phentermine for weight loss can start to enjoy how the drug makes them feel. They can become overly excited about losing weight and decide they want to speed their weight loss along. Sadly, when they start self-medicating, it can cause the person to become dependent on the drug.
Other people want to experience the drug’s euphoric effects much faster than having to wait several hours on their digestive systems. This can lead to them using the drug in other ways it was never intended to be used, such as snorting it or injecting it directly into the bloodstream.
Once someone starts abusing phentermine, they fall into a potentially deadly trap where they will need to take larger and larger doses to achieve the desired effects, just like other addictive substances.
Those with a family history of substance abuse could equally be at risk of abusing phentermine. They could already have a predisposition to addictive tendencies, such as overeating which leads to their obesity. Now that they are taking phentermine, they could transfer these tendencies to abusing the drug in place of food.
What are the risks of being addicted to phentermine?
Since phentermine is a stimulant, it increases the heart rate and blood pressure. Along with being obese, abusing phentermine can further increase risks of other health problems, including:
- Heart Attack
- Congestive Heart Failure
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Disease
Additionally, those that abuse phentermine has an increased risk of abusing other substances. When combining substances, they will interact with one another. Sometimes the result will be enhancing the effects experienced by phentermine. Other times, the effects could be life-threatening.
Furthermore, when someone has a phentermine addiction and no longer has access to the drug, they will look for viable substitutes they can obtain illegally, such as cocaine, meth, crack, or amphetamines.
How severe are the withdrawal symptoms of phentermine?
The severity of withdrawal symptoms from discontinuing phentermine use will vary depending on how long the drug was taken, the dosage taken, and the frequency it was taken. Some of the more common withdrawal symptoms experienced with phentermine include:
- Stomach Pain
- Memory Problems
- Problems Focusing
Since the withdrawal symptoms can vary from one person to the next, you should never attempt to stop phentermine “cold turkey.” Instead, discontinuing phentermine should be medically supervised until the drug has been fully detoxed from the body.
Being Addicted to Phentermine May Call for Detox or Treatment at Home
If you are struggling with phentermine abuse and want to stop, MD Home Detox in Beverly Hills is here to help. We offer an individualized concierge detox and recovery program you can do from the comfort of your home.
Our programs are custom-tailored to fit your specific needs and objectives while working with you to help you take the first steps of recovery. For further information about our at-home phentermine addiction detox and treatment programs, please feel free to contact us at 1 (888) 592-8541 today!