Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse

Facts About Eating Disorders You Didn’t Know

There is an epidemic spreading across the state of Utah, an epidemic of addiction related eating disorders. We know that addiction is a psychological and physical struggle but what we often fail to recognize is how addiction can lead to other problems such as eating disorders. Eating disorders affect the whole self of those who suffer from it, causing a decline in both mental and physical health. Couple that with substance abuse and the potential for serious harm is vastly increased.

Eating disorders are not as widely discussed in society as they should be. Fear and self-esteem are related foundations of eating disorders. Here are a few general facts about eating disorders (

  • 90% of anorexics and bulimics are female, and 10% are male.
  • Anorexia has the highest fatality rate of any identified psychological disorder; in fact, it is estimated that 10% of those suffering with anorexia will die from the disorder or its complications.
  • Recent studies have suggested that 6-13% of high school students in Nevada and Utah have diagnosable eating disorders.
  • These studies also found that 30-35% of high school students have attitudes and beliefs about food and weight that fall into the abnormal range and put them at risk for developing an eating disorder.
  • 50% of 9-year-old girls and 80% of 10-year-old girls have dieted.
  • 75% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance.

When substance abuse, such as drug and alcohol addiction, are included the statistics worsen according to available research (

  • Nearly 50% of individuals with an eating disorder (ED) are also abusing drugs and/or alcohol
    • That is nearly 5 times greater than what is seen in the general population.
  • Eating disorders and substance addiction affects both men and women with up to 57% of males with BED (Binge Eating Disorder) experiencing lifelong substance abuse problems.
  • Those suffering with eating disorders and substance abuse have higher than expected death rates stemming from the increased potential for medical complications and suicide.
  • Addiction coupled with eating disorders can increase the possibility for serious medical issues such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, HIV/AIDS, cognitive changes and more.

Our team of psychoeducational staff take the time to help create a recovery path, utilizing our dual-diagnosis method, that approaches recovery from both the mental and the physical sides. We understand that drug and alcohol abuse, much like eating disorders, can be influenced by genetic and personal factors increasing vulnerability and susceptibility to addictive substances and behaviors.

You don’t have to struggle through addiction and eating disorders alone. Chateau Recovery’s inpatient facility tucked away near the Wasatch Mountains of Utah is here to help. Contact us to learn more about our recovery programs, staff and facility.