Eating Disorders & Substance Abuse: The Connection

Eating Disorders and Substance AbuseEating disorders like anorexia and bulimia frequently co-occur with substance abuse as sufferers self-medicate to cope with the emotional pain of distorted body image and self-loathing. Spinning out of control, the illness seeks new ways of purging calories, losing weight and escaping emotional pain. Binge drinking, abusing prescription drugs and using illicit stimulants like methamphetamine and cocaine increase destructive behaviors across both spectrums.

Our Co-occurring Approach

At Center for Change we provide drug and alcohol treatment within our eating disorder program, including our Mid-Track™ Program, which address the processes that are common across the addiction spectrum. Designed for adolescents and adults ages 13+, this integrative approach helps clients avoid “symptom substitution,” or migrating across multiple addictive processes, while making progress in one area. Our treatment center uses a 12-Step program that focuses on abstinence, education, skills training, accountability and relapse prevention.

In addition to a thorough assessment of drug and alcohol history, use and risk, initial and ongoing monitoring via random drug testing, our certified counselors provide individual drug and alcohol counseling and group therapy. We offer 12-Step, relapse prevention and spirituality groups, AA meetings (inside and outside our facility), along with a drug & alcohol group covering the specific side effects, triggers, coping skills, relationship building, family dynamics and other aspects of addiction recovery.

Our team of compassionate professionals, including licensed master’s-level or PhD-level clinicians, certified Substance Use Disorder Counselors (CSUDC), registered dietitians, psychiatrists, nurses, experiential therapists, medical providers and care technicians work together to provide the continuum of care required for the best possible chance of recovery.