Treatment for Bulimia and Drug Abuse

Treatment for Bulimia and Drug AbuseBulimia is a common eating disorder that is characterized by the bingeing and then purging of food. Purging can be performed in various ways such as vomiting, using laxatives or over-exercising. Bulimia becomes uncontrollable. The urge or need to binge and purge is a compulsive act and an obsession that is difficult or impossible for an individual to stop on his or her own. It is not uncommon for bulimics to also have a co-occurring drug dependency. The consequences of bulimia or drug addiction alone are severe and possibly fatal. When the two conditions are combined, the adverse effects are extreme. By understanding the complications and factors that play into both bulimia and drug addiction, it is easy to see why treatment help is necessary.

The Relationship between Bulimia and Drug Abuse

The cause and effect of the relationship between bulimia and drug abuse can vary. Drug addiction may be responsible for the progression of bulimia, and bulimia may be the reason behind drug addiction. Both bulimia and drug abuse often co-occur with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Many people deal or cope with a mental or emotional illness by abusing drugs or developing an eating disorder. Drugs produce a temporary high that can mask mental health symptoms, while bulimia can develop as a means to feel more in control of emotions or psychological struggles. Both drug abuse and bulimia can emerge as coping methods.

Bulimics may abuse drugs in order to intensify the results of their eating disorder. Drugs can be used to speed up metabolism, suppress the appetite and instigate vomiting. Both eating disorders and drug abuse are difficult to stop once they begin, and both become increasingly dangerous the longer they continue.

Shared Behaviors and Risk Factors that Cause Bulimia and Drug Abuse

Both bulimia and drug abuse can be caused by psychological and emotional factors such as the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Personality disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder

Other shared behaviors and risk factors may be societal, familial, biological or interpersonal and include the following:

  • Social isolation
  • Pressure to fit in
  • Presence of stress
  • Genetic disposition
  • Brain chemistry
  • Family history
  • Past instances of abuse (physical and emotional), violence or unhealthy relationships
  • Feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness

Treatment for a Dual Diagnosis of Bulimia and Drug Abuse

Co-occurring bulimia and drug addiction create a Dual Diagnosis. When treating a Dual Diagnosis both conditions must be handled at the same time. Because each condition perpetuates or encourages the other’s existence, the two must be treated simultaneously in order for any healing to occur. An integrated treatment approach heals all aspects of an individual’s addiction and eating disorder. It takes a closer look at the underlying factors that trigger both bulimia and drug abuse. Recovery efforts will heal the whole person by means of detox, counseling, therapeutic sessions, nutritional counseling and more. Treatment for bulimia and drug addiction is more than just a physical recovery.

Get Treatment Help for Bulimia and Drug Abuse

Co-occurring disorders are complex and require a delicate treatment approach. Both bulimia and drug abuse wreak havoc on the body, mind and spirit. Recovery may seem unattainable, but with help, support and the right treatment a person can find a new and healthy life. Please call our toll-free helpline today to learn more about integrated treatment. We are here 24 hours a day to help you find your recovery needs.