PSROTA Fact Sheets

Weight Concerns, Dieting and Recovery From Substance Use

Recovery-related weight gain is common among individuals recovering from substance use due to suppressed appetite and disrupted metabolism during substance use, leading to significant weight loss. After stopping drug use, weight gain can occur due to impaired nutrient absorption and distorted hunger cues, with cravings for sweet foods often resulting in overeating. Fad diets and rigid dieting behaviors, used as self-medication to prevent weight gain, can be harmful and lead to further weight cycles and a higher risk of substance use recurrence. Chronic dieting, especially among females focused on appearance, can perpetuate weight issues and is exacerbated by dangerous practices like restrictive eating, skipping meals, and misuse of diet supplements and energy products.