Concern as girls use drugs to slim

TEENAGE girls in Suffolk are using the drug Speed to lose weight, it has emerged.The county's Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) said there is evidence that youngsters aged 15, 16 and 17 are using the amphetamine.

TEENAGE girls in Suffolk are using the drug Speed to lose weight, it has emerged.

The county's Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) said there is evidence that youngsters aged 15, 16 and 17 are using the amphetamine.

While teenage boys are using it as a “party drug”, anecdotal evidence suggests teenage girls are using the powder because it can lead to dramatic, but short-term, weight loss.

Robin Herne, a drug trainer with DAAT, visits schools to educate students about drugs and the dangers they pose.

He said: “Amphetamine was initially designed as a diet drug and appetite repressant. It affects the part of the brain that feels hunger. This means that regardless of how empty the stomach is, the brain does not think it is hungry so people do not take food in. The weight then drops quickly.

“But it is worth emphasising and the key thing is that this is short-term. Once the drug wears off the stomach realises it is empty and whatever weight came off piles back on.

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“So it induces periods of not eating and then bingeing. From there it doesn't take a lot to go into an eating disorder pattern. Although they may not be using it to diet, it can cause food-related problems.”

Anyone needing help or advice should contact DAAT on 01473 299640.

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