Eating Disorders and Drug Addiction

Substance Abuse Treatment Centers in Asheville NCDiseases and disorders have a common link to addiction. In our last blog post, we talked about HIV connections to drug abuse and today, we will be discussing addiction and eating disorders. If you're searching for substance abuse treatment centers in Asheville NC, make your first call to Legacy Freedom. You'll love our outpatient therapy programs.

Connections Between Eating Disorders and Drug Addiction

According to, a growing body of evidence and research suggests that there are several similarities between eating disorders and addictive conditions, such as drug addiction and alcohol abuse.  In fact, the American Society of Addiction Medicine now holds a wider definition of addiction to include not only drugs and alcohol, but also “process” addictions, such as food. This is mostly due to the effect that all of these substances and behaviors have on the brain.

The connection between addiction and eating disorders is alarming. We must educate ourselves on the risk of both.

The website also states that "Our brains have special reward centers that are generally stimulated with certain behaviors, such as being praised, taking care of our bodies, exercising, or with being in love.  The reward centers of our brain can also be activated by artificial means through the use of drugs, alcohol, and food abuse."

Shared Characteristics

  • Social isolation
  • Requires intensive therapy
  • Obsessive preoccupation, craving, compulsive behavior, secretiveness, and rituals
  • Linked to suicide
  • Linked to other psychiatric disorders
  • Life threatening
  • High relapse rates
  • Experience mood-altering effects
  • Difficult to treat
  • Chronic diseases

Shared Risk Factors

  • Existence in times of transition or stress
  • Unhealthy peer norms and social pressures
  • Unhealthy parental behaviors and low monitoring of children’s activities
  • Vulnerability to messages from advertising and entertainment media
  • Low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, or impulsivity
  • History of sexual or physical abuse
  • Joint family history
  • Common brain chemistry

Some people only have problems with addiction. Some, only with eating disorders. Often, however, you'll find that addicts are suffering from other problems like eating disorders. Drugs cause malnutrition and also a mental block to hunger. These two problems are serious alone, but when an individual suffers from both at the same time, the life threatening risks are far greater.

In a study in the journal Psychological Medicine, researchers found that people with anorexia were likely to develop their eating disorder before they developed any other mental illness at all. There are times, however, when the substance abuse issue comes first, and the eating disorder becomes a coping mechanism for that addiction.

Do you know someone who is suffering from addiction, an eating disorder or both? It might be time to start researching therapy treatment options. Contact Legacy Freedom to learn more about our customized programs.

If you're interested in learning more about links between addiction and disorders or diseases, visit back with other blog posts soon.

Affordable Substance Abuse Treatment Centers in Asheville NC

Are you suffering from an addiction and aren’t sure where to turn next? Regardless of how bad your drug or alcohol use has become, help is always available. You’re not alone in this. Recovery is just a phone call or visit away. Contact our substance abuse treatment centers in Asheville NC to learn about our highly successful outpatient programs. We are here to help you get back on track to a healthier, happier life. Call Legacy Freedom of Asheville today.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply