Health & Wellness Substance Abuse

Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse Link Explained in an Exclusive Interview with Author Emily T. Wierenga

The term co-occurring disorders doesn’t sound as popular as substance abuse, though it has been used many times in addiction-related references. Two common examples of co-occurring disorders are depression with cocaine addiction and panic disorder with alcohol abuse. If you’re somehow updated with drug abuse trends in the recent years, it’s likely you’ve heard substance abuse with eating disorders or the other way around.

One of the few and newest studies that showed the link between substance abuse and eating disorders was the Food for Thought: Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders which was conducted by The National Center on Addictions and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in 2003.

The study found that individuals with eating disorders are up to five times more likely to abuse alcohol or banned substances, and those who abuse alcohol or illicit drugs are up to 11 times likelier to have eating disorders.

Past forward today, a handful of experts back that finding, one of them is Emily Wierenga, the author of Chasing Silhouettes: How to help a Loved One Battling an Eating Disorder.

“An eating disorder, like a substance abuse problem, is simply an effort to survive or escape the hardships of an uncontrollable and pain-filled world. The two (eating disorders and addictions) often go hand-in-hand,” Ms. Wierenga told TestCountry.

Ms. Wierenga understands the connection full well because she once struggled with an eating disorder in her own life. Thus, it comes as no surprise that she knows the ins and outs of eating disorders, including the other conditions that could occur with them.

In the interview, Ms. Wierenga also discussed the common types of eating disorders and how they affect the family, road to recovery,  and the signs one can look out for in someone with an eating disorder problem.

To read the full text of the interview, visit Exclusive Interview with Emily T. Wierenga.

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