Though it may seem counterintuitive that someone would trade the health risks of obesity for the health risks of substance abuse, research conducted over the past few years seems to suggest that this may be the case, with studies finding that those who have undergone weight loss surgery are at a higher risk of abusing substances.
In a 2012 study performed by the New York Obesity Research Center found an increase in the alcohol consumption of research subjects following their laparoscopic gastric bypass surgeries. A 2017 study had similar results, finding that nearly 21% of patients developed an alcohol use disorder following gastric bypass surgery, nearly twice the rate of the 11% of patients who developed a drinking problem after gastric banding surgery.
One explanation offered for the link is that some of those undergoing gastric bypass surgery had been suffering from a food addiction prior to the surgery and are simply substituting one addiction for another. Animal testing research also suggests that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass affects the reward center of the brain, potentially making those who undergo the surgery more susceptible to developing an alcohol use disorder.
The Asana Recovery Center offers a supervised detoxification and residential treatment program for those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our program and facilities today.