Eating Disorder Treatment
Eating disorder treatment is something that every quality drug and alcohol treatment facility should provide due to the frequency eating disorders occur with addiction. An additional dual diagnosis, eating disorders and substance abuse can be so intertwined that they will often feed off of each other and exacerbate the other’s symptoms.
The most important thing to remember when treating all dual diagnosis is that the co-occurring illnesses must be treated simultaneously in order for treatment to be effective. Treating one of the illnesses and not the other will often turn out to be fruitless, or at the most a temporary fix.
How Eating Disorder Treatment Works
Women are much more susceptible to developing an eating disorder than men. The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that up to 24 million people in the United States currently do or will suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetime. These figures are incredibly troubling when you consider that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, and really do highlight the need for effective eating disorder treatment.
There is not one specific cause of eating disorders. Women will develop Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder for a variety of reasons like psychological issues (control, coping skills, trauma) and societal issues (living in a culture that promotes and celebrates thinness.) That said, eating disorders are not something that any women is born with.
These are learned behaviors that can be unlearned when a woman is ready and motivated to make some serious changes in her life, and most importantly, ask for help.
Eating disorder treatment focuses on changing the relationship the sufferer has with food as well as her body. It must address the emotional triggers and root causes that lead to developing the disorder in the first place. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been especially successful at treating eating disorders.
One primary goal of this eating disorder treatment therapy is to help the sufferer understand that they are using food to deal with emotions, and how to recognize when those negative patterns are happening. After the identification is made, the counselor and client go over coping strategies to combat them. Quality eating disorder treatment must also emphasize the importance of nutrition and healthy eating habits.
When Eating Disorders and Addiction Collide
Eating disorders and substance abuse can be linked for a few different reasons. The most obvious connection is when individuals with eating disorders look to drugs like caffeine, tobacco, cocaine and heroin to help control their weight and food cravings.
Another connection occurs when people abuse drugs to self-medicate in an attempt to feel better when they are feeling especially low and depressed about their weight, bodies and overall self-worth. Illicit drugs are highly addictive and both of these scenarios can result in physical and psychological dependence very quickly.
Destination Hope: The Women’s Program is a full service addiction and dual diagnosis treatment facility for women in South Florida. The counselors at Destination Hope understand the social and psychological pressures women feel in today’s society to be thin and how quickly that can develop into an eating disorder and ultimately can lead to substance abuse.
Destination Hope has a nutritionist on staff to help educate and encourage our women about the benefits of living a healthy and more fulfilling life in conjunction with our highly trained therapists helping them work through the sources of their emotional issues.
If there’s a woman in your life who’s quest to be thin has become dangerous, please put her in contact with the admissions counselors at Destination Hope as soon as possible. Counselors are available to talk 24 hours a day. Don’t let her become another statistic. We can help.