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How Are Eating Disorders and Drug Abuse Connected?

How Are Eating Disorders and Drug Abuse Connected?According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), people with eating disorders often use food and the control of food in an attempt to compensate for feelings and emotions that seem overwhelming. Eating disorder behaviors may be used to help a person in San Diego cope with painful emotions or to feel in control of one’s life. Unfortunately, these behaviors can damage a person’s physical and emotional health, self-esteem and sense of competence and control.

Causes of Eating Disorders in San Diego Residents

There is no checklist of the specific causes that might lead someone in San Diego to starve, binge or purge. Behavioral, biological, emotional, psychological, interpersonal and social factors all contribute to eating disorders, including the following:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of inadequacy or lack of control in life
  • Depression, anxiety, anger, or loneliness
  • Troubled family and personal relationships
  • Difficulty expressing emotions and feelings
  • History of being teased or ridiculed based on size or weight
  • History of physical or sexual abuse
  • Cultural pressures that glorify “thinness”
  • Cultural norms that value people on the basis of physical appearance
  • Biochemical imbalances in the brain
  • Genetic contributions as shown by a family history of eating disorders

Any of these factors might provide a person with a sense of helplessness, anxiety, frustration and discouragement. A person might respond to these feelings by either attempting to take control or get emotional relief by controlling their food consumption.

Causes of Drug Abuse in San Diego Residents

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) have sponsored research studies that look into the causes of drug addiction. Some of the primary reasons include the following:

  • Rebellion
  • Self-medication
  • Boredom
  • Peer pressure
  • Changing your mood
  • Curiosity
  • Availability
  • Enhancement

If the drug of choice is a prescribed medication, a San Diego user might believe that it is less risky than using a street drug.

Similarities between Eating Disorders and Drug Abuse in San Diego Residents

When you look at a friend in San Diego who has an eating disorder, they likely have low self-esteem, a need to control, feelings of depression, anxiety, anger or loneliness, and difficulty expressing their emotions. This person is more vulnerable to peer pressure, wants to change how they look and feel and may seek control through rebellion and/or self-medication to relieve these feelings. The characteristics of a person struggling with an eating disorder directly correlate with the risks of drug abuse.

Get Help for You or a Loved One Struggling with Eating Disorders and Drug Abuse in San Diego

The sooner you can get help for an eating disorder, the likelier it is that recovery is possible. However, many people may be ashamed of their eating disorder and therefore do not want to talk to others about it. To be assured of confidentiality as well as to receive answers to any questions you might have, call our toll-free number any time; we are available 24 hours a day. We want to help you find the right treatment program to handle your eating disorders and drug abuse, and we can provide you with treatment options, information about insurance and resources you can use. Do not waste another minute – take the first steps toward a better life in San Diego today.