Eating Disorders and Cocaine Abuse

Eating Disorders and Cocaine AbuseTroubling correlations have been noticed by researchers between substance abuse and eating disorders. The frequency of these disorders co-occurring – especially in young women – is influencing the way the most effective treatment programs address recovery.

Cocaine Abuse and Eating Disorders

In a 2004 report entitled Food for Thought – Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University documented the alarming relationship between substance abuse – especially cocaine – and eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. The statistics revealed include the following:

  • 50% of people with eating disorders also abuse alcohol or drugs compared with 9% of the general population
  • Roughly 35% of alcohol or drug abusers have an eating disorder compared to 3% of the general population
  • Girls between the ages of 10 and 14 who diet more than once per week are four times more likely to become addicted to cigarettes
  • Girls with eating disorders are nearly four times more likely to use cocaine
  • Up to one million males suffer from an eating disorder, which accounts for roughly 15% of the total population of sufferers.

Many of the people who abuse cocaine and have an eating disorder started using the drug to control weight. Diet pills, laxatives, caffeine, tobacco, amphetamines, alcohol and heroin are also commonly used to suppress appetite, boost metabolism or to quiet negative emotions and anxiety.

Effective Treatment for Cocaine Addiction and Eating Disorders

Because the correlation between substance abuse and eating disorders is a relatively new discovery, very few programs exist to treat these co-occurring conditions in a fully integrated way. The most effective treatment includes specialized diagnosis of any and all psychological issues, alongside medically supervised detox and intensive mental rehab. Addiction recovery professionals develop customized treatment problems for individual patients that pull from an array of potential therapies such as the following:

  • Individual counseling of various styles
  • Education to empower the patient over addiction and eating disorders
  • Support group gatherings
  • Medically supervised detox
  • Specialized eating disorder therapy
  • Healthy and relaxing environment
  • Careful diagnosis and treatment of any and all other psychological issues

If drug addiction and eating disorders are not treated together and carefully one will always undermine recovery from the other.

Help with Cocaine Abuse and Eating Disorders

If you are struggling with an eating disorder and co-occurring drug addiction – or even if you just wonder if you have a problem in the first place – call our 24 hour toll-free helpline any time. We’re always here, ready to answer your questions and help you find the best treatment for your unique needs. We can help with everything from insurance questions to treatment logistics. Life is precious, and can be completely destroyed by eating disorders and addiction. Call today and let us help you take the first all-important steps toward full recovery for you.