Help for Anorexia and Drug Addiction

Help for Anorexia and Drug AddictionEating disorders and drug abuse often occur at the same time. The physical and psychological effects of drug addiction can lead to eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia, while the emotional turmoil related to these issues can lead to drug use as a form of self-medication. Anorexia and drug addiction can share root causes. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University found that up to 35 percent of alcohol or illicit drug abusers have eating disorders compared to the 3 percent of the general population that struggles with eating disorders. The report reveals several other findings including the following:

  • Girls with eating disorder symptoms are almost four times likelier to use inhalants and cocaine than those who do not struggle with eating disorders
  • Bulimic women who are alcohol dependent report a higher rate of suicide attempts, anxiety, personality and conduct disorders and other drug dependence than bulimic women who are not alcohol dependent

Integrated Treatment for Anorexia and Drug Addiction

When a person suffers from co-occurring disorders, it is important that the treatment he or she receives take both disorders into account. Some rehab programs will focus only on addiction or solely on the eating disorder which may do some good in the short-term but will not lead to true recovery. The type of treatment that addresses both disorders is called integrated treatment. This treatment offers specific aftercare such as counseling and therapy that is suited for co-occurring disorder recovery. Important things to look for in a quality integrated treatment program include the following:

  • Education for patients about alcohol and other drugs and how they interact with mental illness and/or eating disorders
  • Counseling specifically designed for co-occurring anorexia and drug addiction
  • Examination of the role of drugs in the patient’s life and why dependency and addiction have occurred
  • Teaching life skills that will allow the patient to solve problems without using drugs
  • Relapse prevention training

Get Help for Anorexia and Drug Addiction

If you are struggling with anorexia and a co-occurring drug addiction or either disorder on its own, it is important to get help. Often disorders lead to more disorders, and once they are occurring together they will only make each other worse. There is no shame in admitting that you are struggling with addiction or anorexia and asking for help. By calling our toll-free 24 hour helpline and speaking with a trained addiction counselor, you can learn more about your options for the future. Call now, and start your recovery today.