More than 20 million people in the United States are currently struggling with some eating disorder. Their eating disorders go hand in hand with addictions to either drugs or alcohol for many of these individuals. Their situations seem hopeless because it’s possible that it feels as though there aren’t that many dual diagnosis facilities that are willing to treat them for their eating disorders and their addictions at the same time.
At Northpoint Recovery, we understand this concern and address your eating disorder and substance abuse treatment under one roof. More importantly, we treat these disorders at the same time. To learn more about our eating disorder treatment program in Boise, reach out at 208.486.0130.
What is an Eating Disorder?
Many things can cause eating disorders. Some people blame them on the trends in popular culture, which sometimes put out false expectations about the ideal body type. There is a belief that if someone looks thin or is a certain size, they’ll have better success in their personal and professional lives. Dieting has become the norm, even among those who don’t need to do it. As many as 35% of those considered normal dieters will turn to patterns of obsessive dieting or will end up attempting to starve themselves.
An eating disorder can be described as an illness identified by an unhealthy relationship with food. In some people, this is characterized by a need to limit how much food they eat or how often they eat, a disorder known as anorexia nervosa. Some find it difficult to control the amounts of food they eat daily, otherwise known as binge eating. Others may eat normal quantities but are compelled to purge their consumption immediately upon finishing their meal.
Regardless of how the eating disorder is presented, anyone who continues in these behavior patterns risks serious medical and mental health consequences.
How Eating Disorders Affect the Body
Eating disorders affect the body in several different ways. Most importantly, they deprive the body of the vitamins and minerals it needs. Whether this occurs because of purging or not eating enough, when the body doesn’t get the nutrients it requires, the results become apparent in many different outward symptoms. These might include:
- Brittle hair and nails
- Weak and brittle bones
- Yellow and dry skin
- Slower pulse rate
- Loss of muscle in the body
- Onset of anxiety and panic attacks
- Extreme mood swings
- Symptoms of depression
- Loss of teeth or tooth enamel
- Pain in the stomach
When eating disorders are left untreated, they can result in the failure of many organs in the body, including brain damage, heart problems, calcium and sodium deficiencies, gastrointestinal issues, acid reflux, and many other problems.
The effects of eating disorders are profound, and it isn’t surprising that many people turn to substance use as a way to self-medicate.
The Eating Disorder and Substance Use Connection
Those with an eating disorder are much more likely than others to have an addiction. Close to 50% of those who meet the DSM V criteria for eating disorders also meet substance use disorders. An eating disorder is not dangerous enough, but once an addiction is present, the situation is even more serious.
Eating disorders and addictions are often linked to one another because for those who suffer from an eating disorder; it’s almost second nature to look for a way to cope with that condition on their own. Drugs or alcohol offer a way to self-medicate, and in the short term, those who suffer believe they are helping themselves feel better about their situation.
Experts also believe that addiction and eating disorders might have common risk factors: a high level of impulse control problems. People who have eating disorders find it challenging to keep their impulses under control, which is true for those who have addictions.
Another common risk factor for addiction and eating disorders is a history of trauma. Traumatic events tend to lead to poor decisions because of poor coping skills. Both eating disorders and addictions offer temporary relief from the pain of trauma. Little thought is given to what might occur down the road when the consequences of both begin to take their toll on the body.
Eating Disorder and Substance Abuse Treatment in Boise
According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, people who have eating disorders are as much as five times more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs. An eating disorder treatment program in Boise combined with substance abuse treatment is the best solution because it allows for the treatment of both conditions simultaneously. The goals of an eating disorder rehab may include:
- Providing an accurate diagnosis for the current medical conditions of each patient
- Providing a treatment plan that addresses each patient’s needs individually
- Providing psychotherapy that gets to the source of the addiction so that recovery can occur
- Providing group therapy and peer counseling
- Providing family therapy so that loved ones can be as involved as possible in the treatment
By combining treatments for eating disorders and addiction through dual diagnosis treatment, staff members can address the underlying causes of addiction and eating disorders, resulting in a more holistic treatment experience.
Find Eating Disorder Treatment in Boise at Northpoint Recovery
Maybe you’ve been suffering from an eating disorder and addiction for quite some time. You may feel as if you are stuck with these diagnoses, and you may have even experienced various treatment methods that refused to address both of these issues at one time. Far too many addiction treatment centers are operating on the philosophy that addictions need to be addressed before mental health conditions like eating disorders are addressed, creating an atmosphere that’s ripe for relapse.
At Northpoint Recovery, we offer dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders that can assist you with true recovery from your addiction. In addition, it will also address the symptoms behind your eating disorder and help to bring you to a place of better health overall.
Are you interested in learning more about eating disorders and rehab for your substance use disorder? Reach out to our experienced mental health professionals at 208.486.0130.