Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders

Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders

Many people are unaware of the relationship between substance abuse and eating disorders. Because many of the substances that are abused adversely affect a person’s appetite, eating disorders are more likely to occur.

According to recent research, approximately 50 percent of individuals with an eating disorder are also abusing alcohol or other drugs.

The co-occurrence of these disorders can impact both men and women, although this issue is becoming more prevalent in males with each passing year. There are many medical complications associated with substance abuse and eating disorders such as:

  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Lung disease
  • Hepatitis B and C

Additionally, there are cognitive changes that occur when substance abuse is paired with an eating disorder. Causing harm to oneself is not out of the realm of possibility.

It is not until recently that substance abuse and eating disorders were treated in cooperation. In the past, these were typically treated separately but it has become increasingly important to assess both of these issues and their underlying causes together, rather than separately.

In many cases, particular substances are purposefully abused for the purposes of maintaining weight although this is a dangerous and unhealthy way to lose weight.

The question of whether substance dependence or an eating disorder occurs first leads to a variety of questions and possibilities. For example, if the eating disorder is present first, substance abuse may assist a person in losing more weight. On the other hand, a person may develop an eating disorder if their appetite has been suppressed through the use of alcohol and/or drugs.

Signs and Symptoms

There are the many signs and symptoms associated with substance abuse and eating disorders:

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Mental confusion
  • Intolerance of cold
  • Social isolation
  • Mood swings

Seeking Help at Prescott House

Many men find themselves faced with a substance abuse problem, as well as an eating disorder.

If you or a loved one is in this position, it is important to consider long-term treatment.

Prescott House is a male only facility that has helped many people live a sober and healthy lifestyle by overcoming the underlying issues connected to addiction and eating disorders. With specialized group and individual counseling sessions, you will receive the help you need to be on the path to healthy living.

Contact us to learn more about receiving professional treatment for substance abuse and eating disorders. We can help you overcome both challenges.

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