One of the essential medications used by doctors in treating severe bouts of constipation is a laxative. This is a drug or chemical compound which when ingested enables the patient to experience a bowel movement and ease constipation. Laxatives as medication, or drugs, are prescribed to patients by their doctors upon diagnosis of serious constipation. Sometimes, after the prescribed dosage is over, some patients will seek to use laxatives over and over again, usually without a prescription, most commonly, this is use of laxatives to lose weight. This has the risk of causing medical complications while also entrapping the user into addiction.
Laxative abuse is serious. The self-induced dehydration a laxative creates, they can also cause electrolyte imbalance, in turn jeopardizing the muscles of the body, including the heart. Organ failure and death are not unheard of.
Laxative Abuse Varieties and Abuse
There are at least three specific ways that addiction to laxatives can become an issue for individuals:
The first way is through cutting. Granted, using what is often generically referred to as “baby laxatives” to cut any number of addictive substances, including heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, is undoubtedly preferable to insecticides and other more lethal choices. It ensures the user’s body suffers from overuse of laxatives on top of all the other abuses it is destined to face via the addictive substance the laxative is used to cut.
Secondly, there are a variety of addictive substances, including methamphetamines and amphetamines, and certain painkillers that create constipation in the user. This habitual abuse and the resulting chronic constipation leads very easily to laxative abuse.
Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, is the fact that there is significant cross-over in abuse populations, specifically in reference to those with eating disorders. Comprehensive studies indicate that as much as 35 percent of those that abuse drugs and alcohol also tend to have eating disorders, as opposed to less than five percent of the overall population. Some with eating disorders use laxatives to lose weight. Obviously, among those with addictive personalities, those with eating disorders tend to be the prime candidates for becoming laxative abusers.
Laxatives to Lose Weight
Sometimes, individuals are so desperate to improve their self-image that they turn to the drastic measure of using laxatives to lose weight. Laxatives are meant to help relieve constipation, but can also be used to stimulate bowel movements. It is indeed possible to shed a few pounds by removing waste from the body, but the dangers and side effects of prolonged laxative use are not worth the meager returns.
The Wrong Approach
Laxatives flush out a person’s system by adding a large amount of fiber or other stimulants to the digestive tract. This causes individuals to process waste quickly, and at the same time also expel a large amount of water. Between the lost waste and water, those using laxatives to lose weight will find themselves feeling encouragingly lighter. However, as they are not burning fat, the results will be only temporary. If however, someone chooses to keep taking laxatives to maintain the weight loss, he or she will soon become severely dehydrated. Other side effects include intestinal bleeding and constant constipation once off the laxatives.
Understanding Using Laxatives to Lose Weight
The fact that using laxatives to lose weight is a widespread practice is indicative of a fundamental misunderstanding of how weight loss works. The reduction of fat by burning more calories than consumed is the only natural way to lose weight. Stripping the body of water and waste that would be eliminated soon anyway shows an ignorance of this simple rule, or perhaps just wishful thinking on the part of the laxative abuser. Because of this laxative abuse, many men and women end up permanently damaging their bodies in a vain attempt to follow another meaningless diet fad. Those looking to avoid the rigors of a diet and exercise plan should always remember that losing five pounds is not worth the dangers of using laxatives to lose weight.
Laxative Use and Abuse
Resisting excessive laxative use can be hard if the individual has an eating disorder, and while it is easy for others to just tell you to stop, it is not that easy to do alone. At our facility, you are never alone. You could have full support 24 hours a day, and it is not by force. Clients often get the idea when they are abusing laxatives that they are the only ones, but when they enter in the treatment program in one of our facilities, they learn very quickly that is not the case.
The Right Approach To Treating Laxative Use and Abuse
When individuals inquire about our treatment, they have the option of participating in the treatment program which helps them cleanse their bodies and learn how to live normal lives without excessive laxative use. This includes eating right and exercising through fun activities with other clients going through similar problems. Clients are also given the option to talk out their problems with professionals, and understand their condition.
Once a client understands their condition, they are more open to the treatment and more successful in getting better. Not only do our treatment programs help individuals reshape their life while in treatment, but once the treatment is over, they will be able to apply what they have learned in their treatment program. In some cases clients will finish treatment and still want the support through an available aftercare program.
Laxative Addiction a Serious Problem
Laxatives are very addictive, and people easily get addicted to this powerful medication. Addiction to this medication is very serious and can cause life threatening conditions. These conditions are really serious and may negatively impact the user, making them experience serious medical complications. This kind of addiction should be avoided at all costs by avoiding the use of unauthorized doses of the drug. Those already addicted should be treated in order to ensure the health and safety of the individual in question is secured.
Addiction to Over-the-Counter Laxatives
An addiction to over-the-counter laxatives can cause severe medical issues such as dehydration and abdominal pain or discomfort. Individuals suffering from this addiction are misusing laxatives, and need professional help to overcome it.
Addiction to Over-the-Counter Laxatives Effects
Some of our clients have become addicts to OTC laxatives because of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. They believed that if they used these laxatives to get rid of their calories, then they would be able to lose weight. In fact, this only caused them more harm than it did good. Most of their calories were absorbed into their small intestine as soon as they ate; therefore, the use of the laxatives was not effective in helping them lose the excess weight.
When our clients chose to continue using these laxatives over a period of time, the body became addicted to them. The addiction to over-the-counter laxatives can cause the bowels to stop responding to the laxatives. The abuse of laxatives can also cause many medical complications. Just a few of the complications that the abuse of laxatives can cause are gastritis, intestinal problems, and liver complications. There are many more medical conditions that an addiction to over-the-counter laxatives can cause.
Laxative Addiction Treatment
We operate and manage an addiction treatment center that treats all sorts of clients from all walks of life. Our facility is staffed with qualified professionals including doctors and nurses that have years of experience in treating these conditions in clients, ensuring they are well cared for and completely weaned off of all addictions to any drugs or substances, including laxative addiction or laxative abuse. When we admit clients at our establishment they receive individual treatment, adequate attention, detoxification, weaning off of the addiction substance as well as substantial counseling and guidance.
Such quality treatment and counseling services as offered at our addiction treatment center will ensure that the client is able to resume normal life back in society as a productive member. This treatment option is adequate for all forms of addiction to substances, including laxative addiction.
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