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Correlation between drug use and eating disorders?

Discussion in 'Dual-Diagnosis Treatment' started by romananthonysmama, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. romananthonysmama

    romananthonysmama Active Contributor

    I've joined these forums because both of my parents are recovering addicts (they luckily both have been sober for awhile), however, I often would go to 12 step meetings because they actually helped me in dealing with an eating disorder. While I was in treatment, I would attend the meetings every week, and I actually noticed that A LOT of people that were there were dealing with the same thing!

    A lot of the people I met had talked about how they started using to support their eating disorder in order to stay thin. They needed to receive treatment for both issues in order to defeat the underlying cause. Has anyone been in treatment for both issues?
  2. Jane

    Jane Active Contributor

    I haven't, but it makes sense to me. Many disorders and addictions end up having similar underlying causes and the solutions can be very similar. An eating disorder is frequently the result of being addicted to controlling a particular habit...whether controlling calories specifically or the weight or being able to purge after a binge...
  3. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    I have not been through a dual disorder. The drugs have something to do with it. I've read somewhere that some of the drugs used by recovering addicts work to control their cravings in general. Every intake also ruins their appetite, causing eating disorders in the process.
  4. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    That is something new to me but from what you've described, suffering from dual disorder can be real tough. Alcohol addiction by itself requires a lot of time and resources to treat so i can't even begin to imagine how much time and effort would be put in managing this two conditions.
  5. rainbowguard

    rainbowguard Senior Contributor

    This is the first time I heard it being used for double issues. It might be hard to cure both and sometimes one attempt to cure one will worsen the other. The idea to use 12 step meetings to cure eating disorders make sense though and from the mental perspective (not the health perspective), they are about the same as alcoholism anyway.

    As a person who is currently having eating disorder because I used snacking as an attempt to cure my tobacco addiction, I can say that the craving feeling of for food and for tobacco are almost the same. Right now, the cravings for tobacco has stopped, fortunately.
  6. Determined2014

    Determined2014 Senior Contributor

    For some reason, having a eating disorder or should I rather say over eating, comes after disconnecting yourself from a certain addiction,it seems to happen with everything even cigarettes, so I believe it is kind of difficult to avoid it, it is an issue that has to be dealt with, we have to try and control the eating disorder.
  7. lefttowrite

    lefttowrite Member

    The method soothes both problems in drug abuse and eating disorders due to their similar nature. Both are restrictive and addicting. But the meetings are there to sway you away from your regular habits and find refuge in another task or activity. I would say the treatment correlates, yes.

    To add on to the title, we can also say that drug use does lead to eating disorders and vice versa. One way you may be addicted to drugs and start losing appetite, and your mentality shifts causing mental problems and even anorexia or over-eating. On the flip side you might become obsessed with becoming thin, so much so that you resort to drugs to become the shape you want to. Or you take the drugs to retreat the horrible image in your mind about yourself.

    The correlations between drug use and eating disorders are immense, I would say so.
  8. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I've heard of this myself too. I know when I was trying to keep weight off I would just chain smoke - I never turned to illegal drugs - but I have no doubt people do. Then it becomes a cycle, I suppose -- want to stay thin, do more drugs, rinse and repeat.
  9. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    Someone who I knew as a child was a chain smoker because she thought that it would help her stay thin(when in reality she was not very thin in the first place, but that's beside the point). She ended up doing that because she thought it helped keep her weight down, when in reality, she actually gained more weight because of the problems that came with her smoking habit.
  10. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    That's very interesting to read. I think it's great that there is a program available that is capable of addressing different types of addiction in the same manner. Addiction, after all, has a very strong psychological component. So, treating any kind of addiction in a structured manner in a group environment will definitely reap benefits.
  11. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    Nope, I've never been in treatment for any of these issues (I've recovered by myself with the support of my best friend). But I met people who had both issues, for example a girl who I think haven't overcame any of them yet. She was crazy though, only looked for attention and affection and became obsessed with me. She loved to hurt me (physically), and I was freaked out by her. I wish I could help her, but she just says it's fine and won't accept any help.
  12. Nancy D.

    Nancy D. Senior Contributor

    If I can chime in about the weight loss, this is a sad thing to have to live through. I just pray that anybody who uses drugs just to get thin, gets help quickly. This is such a deteriorating illness.
  13. JohnBeaulieu

    JohnBeaulieu Community Champion

    The correlations don't surprise me. Drugs are a terrible way to lose weight but there are people that do it and develop eating disorders along the way.