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Phentermine Abuse, Addiction, and Treatment

Phentermine is a prescription medication that has recently gained popularity for its effectiveness in weight loss. While this medication can be a helpful tool for those struggling with obesity, it carries dangerous consequences if misused, including addiction, health complications, and even death.

What is Phentermine?

Phentermine hydrochloride (HCL) is a stimulant often prescribed to individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher to help suppress appetite and aid in weight loss.

Phentermine works by stimulating the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain, reducing hunger and increasing feelings of fullness, and is intended for short-term use.

Phentermine may also be referred to by brand names such as Adipex-P or Lomaira.

Is Phentermine Addictive?

While phentermine is not considered highly addictive in the same way as opioids or benzodiazepines, prolonged use or misuse of phentermine, like any medication that affects the central nervous system, can lead to dependence and addiction.

The stimulant properties of phentermine can produce feelings of euphoria and increased energy. These euphoric sensations lead many individuals to misuse the drug for non-medical purposes.

Several factors contribute to phentermine abuse and addiction, including

  • Psychological Factors: Those with a history of substance abuse or addiction may be more likely to misuse phentermine.
  • Environmental Factors: Social and environmental factors such as pressure to achieve rapid weight loss or exposure to those who misuse drugs can lead to the misuse of phentermine.
  • Genetics: Genetic factors can influence one’s likelihood of developing addiction.
  • Co-occurring Disorders: Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety may coexist alongside obesity and contribute to the misuse of phentermine as a means of self-medication.

Signs of Phentermine Abuse and Addiction

Common signs of phentermine abuse and addiction include:

  • Taking higher doses than prescribed.
  • Using it for non-medical purposes, such as increased energy levels.
  • Using it for longer periods than recommended.
  • Continuing to use the medication despite negative consequences, such as health problems.
  • Obtaining the drug without a prescription.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know is addicted to phentermine, it’s essential to seek help from a healthcare professional for management and support.

Side Effects of Phentermine

Side effects of phentermine will vary based on duration of use, dosage, and biological factors. When using phentermine, individuals should be monitored regularly by their healthcare provider and only take the medication as prescribed. Common side effects of phentermine include:

Short-Term Side Effects of Phentermine

  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Nervousness or Restlessness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Mood swings
  • Decreased libido

Long-Term Side Effects of Phentermine

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Psychological changes
  • Increased tolerance and dependence
  • Addiction

Phentermine Withdrawal

While withdrawal symptoms of phentermine are generally less severe compared to other substances, some individuals may experience pain or discomfort when they abruptly stop taking the medication. Common withdrawal symptoms of phentermine include:

  • Fatigue or Lethargy: Increased levels of tiredness, weakness, or low energy levels.
  • Increased Appetite: As the appetite-suppressing effects of the medication wear off, one may experience a rebound in hunger or increased appetite.
  • Depression or Mood Changes: Increased feelings of sadness, irritability, or mood swings.
  • Anxiety or Restlessness: Increased feelings of anxiety, nervousness, or restlessness.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Change in sleep patterns, including difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Cravings: Strong cravings for phentermine or other substances in the absence of the medication.
  • Stomach Pain: Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Muscle Aches: Muscle aches, pains, or tension.

Treatment Options for Phentermine Addiction

Phentermine addiction requires a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to the unique needs of each client and focuses on both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction. Common treatments for phentermine or prescription drug addiction include:

Medical Detox

Medical detox is often implemented to help safely manage withdrawal symptoms and provide supportive care.

Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based practices work to address the underlying causes of phentermine addiction, help clients develop coping skills, and modify unhealthy behaviors that may lead to relapse.


Through individual or group counseling sessions, clients receive guidance, coping strategies, and emotional support to overcome phentermine dependence in a safe and trustworthy environment.

Support Groups

Support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or SMART Recovery provide individuals with peer support, encouragement, and accountability throughout their recovery journey.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

In rare cases, medications may be used to assist in the treatment of phentermine addiction by helping to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Wellness Practices

Lifestyle habits, including regular exercise, healthy diet, and stress management techniques can support long-term recovery from phentermine addiction.

Addiction Treatment at Mandala Healing Center

Phentermine abuse and addiction pose serious risks to both physical and mental health. Recognizing the signs of addiction and seeking help early are the first steps toward recovery.

With the right treatment plan, those struggling with phentermine abuse can overcome their addiction and achieve lasting sobriety. If you or someone you know is struggling with phentermine abuse or addiction, reach out to our team today and get the support you need for a healthier, happier life.