Research suggests that nearly 50% of individuals with an eating disorder (ED) are also abusing drugs and/or alcohol, a rate 5 times greater than what is seen in the general population.
Marne, Michigan (PRWEB) February 28, 2017
As many as 20 million Americans suffer from eating disorders, and the last week of February is dedicated to the National Eating Disorder Screening and Awareness campaign. Through both education and intervention, lives can be saved that would otherwise be lost to eating disorders.
Eating disorders (ED’s) involve an unhealthy obsession with weight, body image and/or food. ED’s are a disease that affect between 2 and 8% of the population—millions of Americans whose lives can end up revolving around food intake and body image. The most common eating disorders include binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa.
Individuals struggling with binge eating disorder may over-eat regularly, with an accompanying sense of guilt, shame and/or distress about the binge-eating.
When an individual also engages in purging, through vomiting, laxatives, excessive exercise or any other means, that individual may suffer from bulimia nervosa. Bulimia nervosa, in many cases, may be difficult to recognize, as the individual may appear to be a healthy weight.
Anorexia nervosa is the most deadly of all psychiatric diseases. Even when an individual does not die from anorexia nervosa, he or she may still experience serious health consequences, including bone loss, muscle loss, heart damage, brain damage or other signs of severe malnutrition.
According to the National Eating Disorder Association, “Research suggests that nearly 50% of individuals with an eating disorder (ED) are also abusing drugs and/or alcohol, a rate 5 times greater than what is seen in the general population.” ED’s are a potentially serious co-occurring disorder, when accompanying an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Even when an individual does not suffer from an eating disorder, healthy eating plays an important role in addiction recovery. Healthy lifestyle choices are a necessary part of long-term addiction management.
The goal of screening is to identify those who may be in need of help. With rehabilitation an individual may be able to address and avoid triggers, self-manage healthy behavior, communicate more effectively about needs, correctly identify unhealthy behaviors and “bad influences” that may lead to a relapse, and regain a sense of hope and potential for happiness. With millions of young people potentially suffering from distorted body image conditions, screening also serves as educational prevention.