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Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Eating Disorder and Substance Abuse

woman leaning against a wall in dim hallway, eating disorder and substance abuse treatment

A dual diagnosis of an eating disorder and substance abuse is unfortunately common. About 20% of individuals who struggle with an eating disorder also deal with substance abuse. Understanding and effectively treating co-occurring disorders like these requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the unique needs and complexities of each condition. Individuals struggling with eating disorders may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the shame of an eating disorder. If this is the case for you or a loved one, know that help is available. Integrative Life Center works with patients from all over the country to help get lives back on track. Learn more about what to expect with eating disorder and substance abuse treatment.

Understanding Dual Diagnosis

A dual diagnosis can help someone better understand their compulsive behaviors and find recovery. Dual diagnosis is a term used to describe the presence of two or more conditions that require treatment simultaneously. For example, someone might have both an eating disorder and a drug or alcohol problem. They might use drugs or alcohol to help them cope with their eating disorder or the feelings of shame and pain that come with it. Find the right eating disorder and substance abuse treatment can be tough, but it’s the best way for someone to get better. 

Living with a dual diagnosis can feel like an uphill battle, but it’s important to remember that there is hope for recovery. Recovery from this unique challenge requires a comprehensive and holistic approach to treatment. At Integrative Life Center, we’ve earned a national reputation for clinical excellence precisely because we understand the intricacies of dual diagnosis and tailor our programs to meet your individual needs.

Signs and Symptoms of Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse

Eating disorders are serious disturbances in eating behavior that often involve extreme calorie restriction, binging, or purging. However, it’s important to understand the difference between an eating disorder and disordered eating. Eating disorders typically result from a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Common signs and symptoms of eating disorders include:

  • An intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat
  • A distorted body image
  • Excessive dieting, exercise, or fasting
  • Binge eating
  • Purging behaviors, such as self-induced vomiting or laxative use
  • Anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues

On the other hand, substance abuse involves the use of drugs or alcohol despite negative consequences. Signs that a person is using drugs to deal with a binge eating disorder may include:

  • Developing a tolerance or dependence on the substance
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using
  • Changes in behavior, appearance, or relationships
  • Neglecting responsibilities due to substance use
  • Engaging in risky behaviors while under the influence

Integrated Treatment Approaches for Dual Diagnosis 

Our approach to eating disorder and substance abuse treatment involves more than just using medications to address binge eating disorders. We combine evidence-based therapies, experiential healing techniques, and compassionate support to help you achieve long-term recovery. Our comprehensive substance abuse and eating disorder treatment methods include cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness practices, and other modalities that identify and address the root causes of your disorders while nurturing your mind, body, and spirit.

Customized Treatment Plans

At our facility, we often work with individuals who require eating disorder and substance abuse treatment. Our team of experienced clinicians specializes in crafting personalized treatment plans that are tailored to address the unique challenges posed by co-occurring eating disorders and substance abuse. When designing substance abuse treatment plans, we take into account various factors, such as the type and severity of the eating disorder, the substances involved, and individual preferences and goals.

Integrated Therapy Sessions

We offer therapy sessions that are specially designed to address both eating disorders and substance abuse. Our integrated approach helps individuals gain deeper insight into the connections between their behaviors, emotions and thought patterns. This, in turn, facilitates lasting trauma recovery and promotes a better understanding of their struggles.

Nutritional Counseling and Education

Our team of registered dietitians provides personalized nutritional counseling and education to individuals dealing with eating disorders and substance abuse. Our goal is to help individuals effectively nourish their bodies, manage cravings, and establish healthy eating habits. By working closely with our clients, we can address any nutritional imbalances and develop a plan tailored to their unique needs.

Dual-Focused Support Groups

We provide support groups specifically tailored to individuals with dual diagnoses of eating disorders and substance abuse. These groups offer a safe and supportive environment for individuals to share their experiences, receive validation, and learn from others facing similar challenges.

Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention

At our facility, we incorporate mindfulness-based techniques into our relapse prevention strategies. We believe that mindfulness can help individuals become more self-aware, manage their triggers and cravings, and develop resilience when faced with challenges. We utilize meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindful eating to achieve this. These techniques can promote a sense of calm and presence, reducing the likelihood of relapse.

Family Therapy and Support

Receiving support from family and community is vital for recovery. Our family therapy sessions offer a safe space for open communication, repairing relationships, and building stronger support systems. We also educate and guide family members on how best to support their loved ones on their path to recovery.

Holistic Wellness Activities

In addition to traditional therapeutic interventions, we offer a variety of holistic wellness activities designed to promote overall well-being and enhance the recovery process. 

Aftercare Planning and Continued Support

We understand that recovery is a continuous journey. That’s why we remain committed to our clients’ well-being after completing our program. Our eating disorder and substance abuse treatment and aftercare planning includes ongoing support and follow-up appointments to ensure a smooth transition back to daily life. We also offer access to community resources and alumni support groups to provide individuals with the necessary tools and support to maintain their recovery in the long run.

Recovery and Staying Healthy

Recovering from a dual diagnosis can be a difficult but attainable journey. It involves building a support system, undergoing specialized treatment, and committing to self-care. To achieve success in treating both substance abuse and eating disorders, it is important to address the root causes of these issues, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and cultivate a positive body image.

Getting Support at ILC in Nashville, TN 

If you’re struggling with a dual diagnosis and looking for eating disorder and substance abuse treatment, the road to recovery may seem overwhelming. However, you don’t have to go through it alone. Integrative Life Center supports you on your path toward healing, hope, and a brighter future. Together, we can address the complexities of dual diagnosis and embark on a journey of transformation and empowerment. Contact us today at (615) 891-2226 to start your new path today.

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First Name*
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By checking this box you are providing your expressed written consent and willingness for ILC to call you. We will never share your information.
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By clicking this box you are providing expressed written consent to have ILC contact you via SMS messages 2-4/mo, or in varying amounts. We never share your information. Standard message and data rates apply. Text Opt-Out to be removed at any time.

This is an invitation to take that next step if you need...