Can addiction go hand-in-hand with eating disorders?

addiction and eating disorders

Addiction and eating disorders: Is there a link?

An eating disorder is often considered a form of addiction – what was once a small habit, is now out of control and is harmful to an individual’s life.

But what about drug or alcohol addiction and eating disorders?

Is there a link? Do the two come hand-in-hand? We are here to answer those questions.

What is an eating disorder?

An eating disorder is considered a mental illness that takes the form of abnormal eating habits – eating too much, eating too little, for example – that threaten the health and life of an individual.

In today’s society which is so preoccupied with beauty and the way people look, many are cautious, worried or conscious about their weight in a certain way.

If an individual has an eating disorder, then their weight, and nutritional habits become the most important aspect of their life, and overtakes all other priorities.

Types of eating disorders:

What is substance addiction?

Substance Abuse Disorder (SUD) is when an individual’s use of drugs or alcohol becomes detrimental to their daily life and health.

Their personal, social, professional life is affected, ad they cannot live without drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both.

Is there a connection between the two?

Though eating disorders and substance addiction depends on the individual and their situation, in many cases, those suffering from an eating disorder also abuse drugs or alcohol.

A person with an eating disorder is around 5 times more likely to develop a drug or alcohol addiction.

In the same way, someone who is suffering from addiction to begin with is more likely to develop an eating disorder.

  • If a person is struggling with (SUD) and an eating disorder, they are tending to use one as a coping mechanism to deal with the other. 
  • Those struggling with an addiction may use their eating habits as a means of regaining control over an aspect of their lives. 
  • But there are a lot of risks and suffering from an addiction and an eating disorder can be life-threatening. 

There is help out there

It is vital to seek medical help if you are struggling with an eating disorder, addiction or both simultaneously.

Choosing the right alcohol or drug rehab is important to get the right support you need.

For more information on deciding on a rehab clinic, click here. 

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