This Alcohol Awareness Month, it’s important to carefully consider your relationship with alcoholic substances. Today, April 6, marks National Alcohol Screening Day (NASD), and there’s no better time to educate yourself and your loved ones about the symptoms of substance use disorders, which commonly co-occur with eating disorders.
According to a piece published on the NEDA website by Amy Baker Dennis Ph.D. & Bethany Helfman Psy.D.:
- Research suggests that nearly 50% of individuals with an eating disorder are also abusing drugs and/or alcohol, a rate 5 times greater than what is seen in the general population.
- Up to 57% of males with BED experiencing lifelong substance abuse problems.
To learn more about your relationship with alcohol and other substances, take a self-assessment and find resources at SAMHSA’s National Helpline. You may also find National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) screening tools for adolescents and adults helpful.
Online screenings like this one are an important first step in substance use disorder intervention. Similar to other mental health issues like eating disorders, early intervention can greatly improve chances of recovery.
Those struggling with both substance abuse and an eating disorder should receive comprehensive treatment from specialists with expertise in both issues.