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Recently, drug rehab centers are seeing an increase in admissions for binge eaters with substance abuse issues. One of the complex problems associated with these types of drug treatment program patients is the issue of addressing their drug addiction without neglecting their food addiction. Of course, drug rehab centers generally allow patients plenty of food to eat, because most drug addicts neglect nutrition for long periods of time while they are using drugs or drinking. Drug treatment program patients with eating disorders, however, may have to be monitored when in the drug rehab cafeteria, or when purchasing snacks to bring back to their rooms so they do not hurt themselves by binging on their food.
Drug rehab center doctors certainly want to help these poly-addicted drug treatment program patients the best way they possibly can. These two diseases, food addiction and drug addiction, may be separate issues that need to be addressed individually, but they certainly are related to one another in a profound way. In fact, some researchers now believe binge eating may lead to drug addiction. This information helps drug rehab centers who are trying to find the best ways to help binge eaters participating in a drug treatment program.
According to Penn State College of Medicine scientists, binge eating may make a person more likely to become a drug addict. Their findings determine factors that contribute to substance abuse, and at the same time may benefit doctors in treating eating disorders.
Patricia Sue Grigson, lead researcher, asserts, "Drug addiction persists as a major problem in the United States. Likewise, excessive food intake, like binge eating, has become problematic. Substance-abuse and binge eating are both characterized by a loss of control over consumption. Given the common characteristics of these two types of disorders, it is not surprising that the co-occurrence of eating disorders and substance abuse disorders is high. It is unknown, however, whether loss of control in one disorder predisposes an individual to loss of control in another."
The Penn State research team led by Grigson discovered a link between binge eating fat and cocaine seeking and taking behaviors on rats. They believe, therefore, that excessive behavior with eating unnecessary amounts of food increases the probability of drug addiction.