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Louisville Drug Rehabs

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How Are Eating Disorders and Drug Abuse Connected?

How Are Eating Disorders and Drug Abuse Connected?Eating disorders are psychological illnesses that affect both women and men in Louisville. Individuals suffering from eating disorders become obsessed with the amount of fat on their bodies and take extreme measures to achieve what they see as a normal weight. Unfortunately these individuals’ ideal weight is dangerously low. Eating disorders often go hand in hand with drug abuse because of the side effects of many prescription and illegal drugs.

The Symptoms and Side Effects of Anorexia and Bulimia

Two common eating disorders are anorexia and bulimia. Though anorexia begins with dieting, it goes beyond normal healthy eating. Instead of stopping at a goal weight, anorexic individuals continue to limit their caloric intake or simply starve themselves to the point that they are malnourished and ill. Louisville residents suffering from anorexia have an unrealistic body image. This means that no matter how thin they become, they continue to believe that they are overweight and continue to obsessively exercise and diet. The side effects of anorexia include the following:

  • Cardiac strain
  • Elevated liver enzymes
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Slow heart rhythms
  • Low blood pressure
  • Death

Bulimia is a disorder that is similar to anorexia in that individuals are concerned with their weight. However, instead of limiting their caloric intake and dieting like those with anorexia, individuals with bulimia involve themselves in a dangerous cycle of binge eating followed by purging. The side effects of bulimia include the following:

  • Loss of bone structure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Immune system damage
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Both anorexia and bulimia can be extremely dangerous and potentially life threatening.

Drug Abuse and Eating Disorders

According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, approximately half of the individuals suffering from eating disorders also abuse drugs. Drugs commonly abused by individuals suffering from eating disorders include the following:

  • Cocaine
  • Tobacco
  • Amphetamines
  • Alcohol
  • Laxatives
  • Heroin

Medications like laxatives and diuretics are abused so that food and drink is purged from the individual’s system before the calories are completely absorbed. Other drugs such as heroin, cocaine, tobacco and amphetamines are used, because they suppress the appetite and cause users to feel bursts of energy.

Co-Occurring Eating Disorders and Drug Addiction

When a Louisville resident is suffering from a mental health issue such as an eating disorder and is also addicted to drugs, the individual is said to be suffering from a co-occurring disorder. This means that the individual is suffering from two disorders that affect one another. In a Dual Diagnosis rehab center, both emotional problems are addressed through counseling since both problems must be treated individually before recovery can begin.

Help for Individuals Suffering from Eating Disorders and Drug Abuse

If you are suffering from both an eating disorder and drug abuse problem, call our toll-free helpline today. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to help you decide what steps you need to take to achieve a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle. Don’t expose yourself to the dangers of an eating disorder and drug abuse problem. Call today and get help.

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