Teenage girls ‘using speed to lose weight’

UK Evening Standard 03 July 07
Teenage girls as young as 15 are using the powerful drug speed in a desperate bid to lose weight. A Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) said they had evidence that youngsters were taking amphetamines in an attempt to shed the pounds. The drug induces manic behaviour similar to the bingeing and starving seen in eating disorders. Commonly used as a party drug, teenage girls are using the powder because it can lead to dramatic, but short-term, weight loss.Robin Herne, a drug trainer with DAAT in Suffolk, visits schools to educate students about drugs and the dangers they pose. Mr Herne 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 he added: “Once the drug wears off the stomach realises it is empty and whatever weight came off piles back on. 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.