Wikipedia.org defines laxatives (also known as purgatives) as foods, compounds, or drugs taken to produce bowel movements or to loosen the stool. Laxatives have two purposes: To help relieve constipation and to assist in weight loss. When a person ingests more than the usual or suggested amount of laxatives (particularly drugs), laxative misuse takes place.
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) reports that Laxatives could become habit forming. The common conviction that people must have a daily bowel movement has led to self-medicating with over the counter (OTC) laxative products.” 1
Sadd.org reports the following statistics: “Nationwide, 4.5% of students had vomited or taken laxatives to lose weight or to keep from gaining weight during the last 30 days. Overall the prevalence of having vomited or taken laxatives to lose weight or to keep from gaining weight was higher among female (6.2%) than male (2.8%) students ”2