Alcohol Abuse After Weight-Loss Surgery

In a nation where the obesity levels are growing at an alarming rate, more and more people are undergoing weight-loss surgery. As gastric bypass surgery works wonders in terms of losing weight, helping diabetes and improving heart health, a new con of the surgery has popped up–alcoholism. According to a study that came out of the University of Pittsburgh in June of 2012, nearly 11% of gastric bypass patients developed problems with alcohol within the first two years after surgery.

How Weight-loss Surgery Leads to Alcohol Abuse

Weight-loss surgery may contribute to alcohol addiction for many reasons. Between the stressors of the surgery itself and a predisposition to addiction, the risk for alcohol abuse increases. Weight-loss patients may develop problems with alcohol for the following reasons:

  • Digesting alcohol: Once a doctor shrinks the stomach with surgery, patients must look at food and beverages differently, because their stomachs cannot process the same amount as previously before. This is also true with alcohol, as the stomach will process it at a much quicker rate since it is smaller, which can cause intoxication to happen much faster. To keep up with the crowd, patients may continually drink even though they are already intoxicated. This behavior can become repetitive and unintentionally lead to addiction.
  • Predisposition: Many people who get weight-loss surgery are predisposed to addiction because it either runs in their families or they grew up in an environment that promoted drinking. After such a life-altering and invasive surgery, patients can develop routines that bring this predisposition to the forefront where alcoholism can develop.
  • Stress: As this surgery demands that patients change how they view food, it can be difficult to manage. Being accustomed to eating certain types of food can be a hard habit to break. The stress of managing this can be overwhelming, as can be the fear of being accepted after weight loss. All of these concerns, changes and fears can lead people to cope with stress through alcohol abuse.

Like many other people who have surgery, those who have weight-loss surgery are at risk for developing alcoholism. Many times, these people become addicted by accident as they are unaccustomed to how their bodies digest alcohol after the surgery. Combining stress of surgery with a predisposition to alcoholism can increase the likelihood of drug abuse.

Help with Alcoholism after Weight-loss Surgery?

Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline right now to get the help you need to be healthy again. Do not let this issue get out of control. Call us today to begin your recovery.

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