Does weight-loss surgery lead to substance abuse? | On Call

Wed, 10/17/2012 - 8:29am
Mass Device

Researchers find that patients who have undergone weight-loss surgery are 50% more likely to end up abusing substances such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes.

MassDevice On Call

MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Patients that underwent weight-loss surgery had a 50% rise in rates of substance abuse after 2 years, according to results from a survey-based study of more than 150 patients.

Researchers suggested that the patients may have been trading one habit for another, a theory called "symptom substitution, after finding that 1 in 8 patients reported using recreation drugs 2 years after the procedure, up from 1 in 25 before weight-loss surgery.

In addition, patients who drank and smoked prior to their surgery increased those activities in the 2 years following, ABC News reported.


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