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Topic specifically related to substance use disorders - Research Paper Example

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Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse Disorders Name Institution Tutor Date Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse Disorders Eating disorders (EDs) and substance use disorders (SUDs) appear together frequently. EDs have psychological consequences such as problems with family and friends and low perceived happiness…
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Download file to see previous pages SUDs also have psychological effects such as poor brain function and behavior, and addiction. Research indicates that about 50 percent of people with ED abuse drugs such as alcohol (Courbasson, 2008). Integrated treatment of both disorders has been suggested by researchers, but few interventions provide combined treatment and the current research does not lay out the best procedure for simultaneous treatment. EDs can begin between 8 and 21 years although they can start later or earlier and the exact mechanisms that cause them remain unknown, but SUDs can occur at any stage of addiction (Courbasson, 2008). EDs such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating affect over five million Americans (Harrop and Marlatt, 2010). Millions of others display some symptoms if not the full-blown disorder. EDs have devastating physical and mental health of which is the increased potential for substance abuse. Between 30 and 50 percent of people with bulimia abuse or are addicted to alcohol. Between 12 and 18 percent of individuals with anorexia abuse or depend on alcohol or other drugs. Approximately 35 percent of individuals abusing alcohol or drugs have an eating disorder compared to 3 percent of the general population without SUDs (Piran, Robinson and Cormier, 2007). Eating disorders mostly affect girls and women, but the problem is increasing among men. However, there is a small variation on the occurrence of EDs among men and women with SUDs. Substances frequently abused by people with EDs include caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, heroin, cocaine, laxatives, and appetite suppressants. Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is characterized by an insatiable desire to become slim, and the patient fails to maintain the minimum weight acceptable for age and height (Piran and Robinson, 2006). Anorexia mostly occurs in adolescent girls who develop a distorted perception of the body image, denial of illness, and fear of becoming overweight. The most common ages of anorexia are mid teens, but about 5 percent of the patients develop the disorder in their early 20s. The disorder occurs in 0.5 to one percent of the general population and 20 times more often in females than in males (Piran and Robinson, 2006). Although people with Anorexia lack appetite, they develop appetite and experience hunger, but they avoid consuming food. There are two types of AN namely restrictive and binge eating/ purging. Individuals suffering from restrictive anorexia have a low weight due to restricted food consumption and over exercising. Individuals experiencing binge eating and purging maintain a low body weight by restricting their food intake. However, they have binge eating, which is the inability to control food consumption until they experience discomfort or pain. Purging is the use of laxatives and other drugs to induce vomiting (Piran and Robinson, 2006). Bulimia Nervosa consists of recurring incidents of binge eating and vomiting, excessive exercising, laxative use, and fasting (Piran and Robinson, 2006). Individuals with BN are unable to voluntarily stop eating and feel out of control of their eating habits. Patients with BN maintain a normal body weight, which makes it hard to detect the disorder. About one-third of patients with BN have a history of anorexia nervosa. Bulimia Nervosa occurs in late adolescence or early adulthood (Piran and Robinson, 2006). BN occurs mostly among women than men, with an average ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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