Addiction Closely Tied to Eating Disorders

Alcohol and Drug Addiction Closely Tied to Eating Disorders

New research has discovered that there is a direct link between alcohol and drug abuse and eating disorders; with the most common eating disorders associated with alcohol and drug addiction being anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. According to the study performed by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, as many as 50 percent of people with eating disorders are also battling a co-occurring alcohol and drug addiction. In a similar study, comprised of girls in middle school, it was discovered that girls who develop an eating disorder are four times as likely to become addicted to cocaine as girls who don’t develop an eating disorder.

Some of the commonalities between substance abuse and eating disorders are:

  • Both occur in times of stress.
  • Both have common brain chemistry irregularities.
  • Both have genetic pre-dispositions.
  • Both are tied to low self-esteem and identity issues.
  • Both have a direct link to trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Both are affected immensely by messages from peers and the media.

Common risk factors both substance abuse and eating disorders share:

  • Compulsive and impulsive behaviors.
  • Mood and mind altering experiences.
  • Thoughts of suicide and isolation.
  • Have a high relapse rate.
  • Are both chronic and fatal.
  • If one develops one disorder, the chance of them developing the other is very high.

As previously mentioned, eating disorders are a battle in themselves. With the common connection to alcohol and drug addiction, be aware of the signs for both. Addiction education is key to treatment and prevention!


Contact Elements Behavioral Health

Call 855-678-8337 for a confidential assessment or fill out the form below and we will call you.