Weight loss surgery is starting to become a common way for obese people in the United States to losing weight. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, about two obese people opt for a weight loss surgery in a year, which costs about twenty thousand dollars each. Per a study conducted on the success rate of this surgery, after six years following the surgery, about seventy five percent of the people who went through a gastric bypass had succeeded in losing and not regaining at least twenty percent of their weight before the surgery. The long term benefits of the surgery, however, have been questioned by some researchers.
According to a new study, a strong relationship has been found between weight loss surgery and alcohol or drug abuse. In the study, 132 females and 23 males who recently had a weight-loss surgery like a gastric bypass were given questionnaires to answer about their use of addictive substances post the surgery. It was found that the use of illegal substances increased not just at the time of the surgery, but also after one, three, six and twenty four months after the surgery.
Dr. Alexis Conason, who is a researcher at the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Centre in New York City, was one of the researchers in this study. As per his statements, the results of this study do not necessarily show that everyone who goes through a gastric bypass becomes an alcohol addict. This is because the study only shows an increase in the rate of alcohol or drug intake, but not necessarily to the extent that one becomes addicted to it. Thus, one should not shy away from getting the surgery done just because of the fear of getting addicted to alcohol or drugs. He however mentioned that after this surgery, the patient should become cautious and notice the changes if any in terms of their alcohol or drugs requirement. They should be aware of the symptoms of substance abuse
Common Symptoms Of Substance Abuse
The first major sign of addiction that an individual can notice is an increased craving for alcohol or drugs, and thinking about them more than required. The desire to procure them in more quantities and for longer duration than prescribed by the physician is also a strong sign. Moreover, changes in professional and social life are also a major symptom. An individual addicted to drugs or alcohol would find it very difficult to spend his or her day without consuming them and over a period of time as their body would get accustomed to it, they would need more and more quantities of the same in order to have the same effect.
Another symptom that shows addiction to alcohol or drugs is the existence of withdrawal symptoms when the intake stops. Some of these symptoms are lack of sleep, loss of appetite, restlessness, vomiting, nausea, fever, headache, general discomfort, cold, cough etc.
Reasons For Increase In Substance Use After Weight Loss Surgery
A weight loss surgery results in an occurrence known as addiction swapping. This primarily means that people who have undergone a weight loss surgery have a tendency to replace the food intake in their body with alcohol or drugs because now they cannot eat as much as they could eat earlier. This has been found as one of the main reasons for an increase in use of illegal substances post a weight loss surgery. Moreover, a weight loss surgery can also cause certain behavioral changes and changes in the functioning of the brain, which can make the patient more interested in consuming alcohol or drugs.
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