Substance Abuse

Substance Use Disorders Special Interest Group

Eating and substance use disorders are distinct disorders that co-occur at a surprisingly high rate, with half of all eating disorder patients abusing alcohol or drugs, an abuse rate that is 5 times greater than what we see in the general population. Studies also suggest that 30-40% of women who abuse alcohol have a history of an eating disorder. Recent research suggests that anorexics are 19 times more likely to die from their substance abuse than an addict without anorexia. In addition to the typical substances of abuse, eating disorder individuals have also abused laxatives, diuretics, diet pills, insulin, steroids and syrup of ipecac. Substance abuse can develop before, during or after treatment for an eating disorder.

The Eating and Substance Use Disorders SIG aims to bring together diverse expertise from all areas of AED in an effort to integrate new and ongoing research with clinical practice and to work synergistically on reducing barriers to treatment. This SIG will provide a platform to increase dialogue among eating disorder professionals as well as with the substance abuse community in an effort to collaborate, share and disseminate research data; cross-train providers, and address the specific treatment needs of this complex population. Efforts at coordination with other AED SIGs will be made to discuss new frontiers to accomplish these goals.

The Eating and Substance Use Disorders SIG will meet monthly to discuss cutting edge research, plan integrative workshops at AED meetings, and develop coordinated responses to requests for information, meetings, and initiatives within the eating disorder and addiction field.


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