I Have a Drug Addiction, Do I Have an Eating Disorder Too?

May 23, 2016 - , , - 0 Comments

Our counselors have noticed that more of our alcohol and drug addiction clients also have eating disorders. Researchers do not completely understand the correlation between eating disorders and substance abuse, but we know that rehabilitation facilities must help the clients that have both conditions. During intake interviews and throughout substance abuse treatment, the counselors working in rehabilitation facilities have determined that nearly 60 percent of clients have some type of eating disorder. There are several types of eating disorders, including bulimia nervosa, purging or binge eating that can make recovery from substance abuse more difficult.

Similarities between Eating Disorders and Addiction

There are similarities between substance abuse and eating disorder behavior. Consuming food and drinking alcohol are social activities with many individuals overeating or drinking too much. In some social circles, using drugs such as cocaine is also part of the culture, leading to behavior to hide this addiction. In addition, eating disorders and drug or alcohol addiction are frequently kept hidden with the binging and purging taking place in private. While an alcoholic or drug addict may begin their addiction in a social group, they often continue to drink or use drugs while alone.

Eating Disorders Contribute to an Addict’s Poor Health

Some types of drugs lead to an increase or suppression of an individual’s appetite or desire for food, and this reaction in the body can lead to an eating disorder. An addict might not consume food for two days while immersed in taking drugs, but then begin to binge eat later. Eating disorders contribute to an addict’s poor physical health and mental clarity. In most cases, addicts make bad food choices by eating junk foods instead of consuming fruit and vegetables. By the time an addict enters a rehabilitation program, they have numerous health problems caused by their nutritional habits, and this is why our facilities offer healthy meals that are served at the same times each day.

A Client in Rehabilitation Receives Treatment for Coexisting Conditions

The addicts who enter our rehabilitation programs receive treatment for coexisting conditions such as substance abuse combined with an eating disorder. During group and one-on-one counseling sessions, our clients will learn why they have turned to drugs, alcohol or food for comfort. The recovering addicts in our facilities attend 12-step meetings along with learning how to shop for groceries and prepare meals to improve their overall well-being.

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