Substances Abused During An Eating Disorders There is no uniform substance abuse amongst those who have an eating disorder. Substances include sedatives, marijuana, hallucinogens, opioids, cocaine, inhalants, and caffeine pills. Those with an eating disorder can also misuse legal substances, such as laxatives, diuretics, diet pills, thyroid hormones, and artificial sweeteners. Substance abuse is not equal across all eating disorders. For example, those with anorexia nervosa are least likely also have a substance use disorder. However, those with bulimia and eating/purging anorexia are more likely to have a substance use disorder and have the highest alcohol consumption.
Detox A critical step in recovery is getting all abused substances out of the body. Without a sober mind, it is difficult to treat an eating disorder. Depending on the substance and duration of use, detox can take anywhere from a few days to a month. In addition, there may need to be inpatient care for an eating disorder, depending on the severity. Unstable or depressed vital signs, or acute health risk, for example, may require inpatient care.
Therapies Therapy is an essential part of recovery and continued sobriety. There are some options to choose from for therapy. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) focuses on changing actions as opposed to feelings or thoughts. Patients commit to creating goals that will fulfill their core values and learn to live with pain and anxiety as a normal part of life. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term, symptom-oriented form of therapy. It seeks to change distorted beliefs and attitudes towards weight and appearance. Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based practice to replace maladaptive eating behaviors with healthy skills to handle daily pressures.