Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders

Any mental illness can affect men and women from all walks of life. In February, the National Eating Disorders Association asks that we all focus on disordered eating. The organization reports that eating disorders are complex forms of mental illness with potentially fatal consequences.

At Pacific Shores, our team of professionals understands that many people who struggle with addiction also battle a dual diagnosis. Which means, men and women with substance use disorders can contend with any one of several illnesses that require treatment. Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress, trauma, and eating disorders can complicate one’s potential for long-term recovery. Treating co-morbid mental health disorders concurrently is of the utmost importance.

This week, we can all take some time to turn to social media and talk with our peers about disordered eating conditions. It is vital that we all do our part to help break the stigma accompanying conditions like:

For more information about how you can get involved with National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, please click here. Even a simple post on social media could have a lasting impact on the lives of other people.

Seeking Help for Mental Illness and Dual Diagnosis

Men and women who battle alcohol and substance use disorder are more likely to contend with another form of mental illness, compared to the general public. Bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, sex and intimacy issues, and eating disorders are common among those who struggle with substance abuse. There are times when addiction comes first; while, other times use disorders develop when people are self-medicating another form of mental illness.

During National Eating Disorders Awareness Week or NEDA, it is vital to get the word out that many people who meet the criteria for AN, BN, or BED also have the markers of substance use disorder. Moreover, the organization reports that 35 percent of people with substance use disorders also have a co-occurring eating disorder.

Cases involving co-occurring mental illness or dual diagnosis, require intervention and recovery services. It is paramount that all forms of mental disease receive treatment, simultaneously. Both these disorders are treatable, and recovery is possible.

Please take a moment to watch a short video about substance use and eating disorders:


If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

If you believe a friend or loved one is struggling with mental illness, please talk with them about seeking help. Your support can be a catalyst to lasting changes and help them to lead a productive life in recovery. With mental illness, it is always easier to stay silent or ignore the signs and symptoms. It is easy to feel like it isn’t our place to meddle in the affairs of others; however, mental illnesses are life-threatening conditions that affect everyone in one way or another.

Awareness events, like NEDA or National Recovery Month, aim to encourage all of us to have an open and honest dialogue about mental illness. When we talk with each other, we have an opportunity to inspire and empower others to seek help.

Please contact Pacific Shores if you or a loved one is experiencing addiction or any other form of co-occurring mental illness. Our treatment center is recognized by the Joint Commission and has the honor of receiving the Gold Seal of Approval. Our team of professionals can give you new hope and a new life.