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Is Weight Loss Surgery Linked To Substance Abuse?

Is Weight Loss Surgery Linked To Substance Abuse?

POSTED: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 8:23am

UPDATED: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 11:29am

Patients who undergo weight loss surgery are at an increased risk for substance abuse after the procedure. Researchers followed more than 150 bariatric patients and found an immediate decrease in substance use after surgery, but three months later those improvements weren't maintained.

Two years after the surgery, there was a significant boost in substance use especially with alcohol in those who underwent gastric bypass. Researchers say because food triggers similar brain responses as drugs and alcohol these drugs are likely to substitute for overeating after weight loss surgery.

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