Food Addiction Co-occurring with Drug Addiction

In a time where physical appearance holds so much weight a lot of people develop eating disorders without even realizing. It usually begins with a minor change in diet and the desire to improve one’s physique which can lead to many people developing a toxic relationship with food.

  •      Anorexia – purposely starving oneself;
  •      Bulimia – purging immediately after eating;
  •      Compulsive eating – eating with little to no control;
  •      Binge eating – uncontrolled eating followed by a compulsion to purge;

Unfortunately, a lot of those battling eating disorders often find refuge in drugs, as their euphoric effects might improve the general discontent they have for their lives.

Addictions that Eating Disorders Co-Occur with Frequently

Some personality traits found in patients with eating disorders (lack of self-control, depression, and so on) can lead to substance or alcohol abuse. The National Eating Disorders Association reports that 50% of patients suffering from an eating disorder are also abusing alcohol or drugs.

The most commonly abused substance is alcohol. People use it to help purge or for its dehydration properties, though many will also abuse prescription medication and other illicit drugs.

What Types of Nutrition Can Be Implemented in the Abuse Recovery Process?

A patient must completely change their relationship with foods and nutrition. During recovery, patients will follow a regular eating schedule and will consume food high in nutritional values. The purpose isn’t to force patients to keep up with a strict dieting plan, but to change their outlook on nutrition.

Do Eating Disorders Cause Addiction?

Both conditions inappropriately stimulate the brain, which is why there are many similarities between the two. People find relief in drug or food abuse, so it’s common for these conditions to affect an individual at the same time. One does not cause the other, though. They are the result of a patient’s desire to stimulate the reward center of the brain.

What Does a Healthy Diet Do for Addiction Recovery?

During drug addiction recovery, a patient learns how to take control over their lives and enjoy it without external stimuli. The right nutrition is known to have beneficial effects on a person’s health and even mental state. Healthy diets can help people manage their cravings and rehabilitation.

How Can a Nutritionist Help Someone with a Co-Occurring Eating Disorder?

A nutritionist can help patients develop healthy eating habits by creating personalized eating plans that they can follow in their daily lives. Over time, they can help an individual improve their relationship with food.

What Support Groups Exist for People with These Conditions?

Many detox facilities that offer care for patients suffering from addiction and a co-occurring eating disorder employ the method of support groups for people receiving treatment. People can also participate in meetings with Eating Disorders Anonymous, or other drug-related support groups if needed.

However, these conditions can have a strong, negative effect on a person’s life, and it can be very difficult to recover from them solely through support groups.