Ipecac Abuse

I had never heard of this before but it doesn’t surprise me. Apparently people use Ipecac to purge when they’re bulimic. It’s enough of a problem that New York all-but passed a bill (it’s waiting for the governor’s signature) that would make it so people who want to buy Ipecac or the generic versions would have to speak to a pharmacist or store manager. The reason why this law was proposed was because a teenage girl died after abusing it; it caused her heart to stop and she died. Her mother lobbied for the bill to hopefully make it so it doesn’t happen to someone else.

Ipecac abuse was also a factor in Karen Carpenter’s death.

So sad. Disordered eating is such a horrible thing but I don’t think that people realize how deadly it can be. I think that people don’t understand it, also, and easily invest in disordered eating patterns in order to “diet” and “lose weight.” Just look at calorie-counting and how hard that’s pushed by so many different places. Or diet pills that, rather than helping you change your eating habits to include less processed and healthier food, make it so you just don’t feel hungry and boost your metabolism to insanely high speeds while you take them.It just boggles my mind at how disordered eating is pushed by the weight loss and diet industry.

Anyway, to read more about this issue, here’s a link:



2 thoughts on “Ipecac Abuse

  1. Scarlett says:

    I have abused ipecac, and I strongly support this bill.

    However, I disagree on the point that people with EDs don’t realize the dangers. I believe that the vast majority of eating disordered people (this is not including “wannarexics” and dieters, but those with a legitimate disorder and regularly destructive behaviors) DO know the risks and statistics. For someone who dabbles in calorie counting and learns that anorexia is dangerous, sure, it might dissuade her, but she likely didn’t have a disorder. For someone in the throes of anorexia or bulimia (or EDNOS or BED), it’s not something that a health class is going to allow us to snap out of. If that were the case, treatment centers wouldn’t be able to charge such astronomical fees…

    • I hope they pass the bill, also.

      I’m not sure if I, personally, realized how dangerous what I was doing to myself was when I as in the throes of anorexia. I knew it was dangerous in some way, I had heard that people die because of eating disorders, but I thought I had it under control and I had the, “it’s not going to happen to me mindset.” When friends expressed concern at how thin I was I’d just blow them off because I couldn’t see how skinny I was; to me I wasn’t skinny enough. I think that’s more what I was trying to get at; that it’s easy to fall into that mindset if you have the right formula to develop an eating disorder and that society in of itself promotes disordered eating by putting pressures on people to lose weight in ways that aren’t very healthy.

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