One of the forms of co-occurring disorders is the link between drug addiction and a mental health issue. Certain harmful substances can provide relief to mental illness symptoms, which makes them all the more addictive. When it comes to anorexia and eating disorders, there are a number of drugs that patients who are anorexic abuse. Cocaine is one of the most popular, however.
Recent studies about the link between substance abuse and eating disorders have revealed that the relationship between cocaine abuse and anorexia is a damaging one. People with eating disorders tend to abuse substances much more than the general population. Because substance abuse is so popular among this population, the relationship between cocaine use and anorexia can be a fatal one.
Cocaine Abuse and Appetite
Cocaine is known to suppress the appetite as it is a narcotic central nervous stimulant. People who abuse cocaine have a tendency to lose a large amount of weight in a short amount of time, even if they are not suffering from an eating disorder. This does not make it difficult to imagine why people with anorexia find the drug to be appealing. Unfortunately, people with eating disorders who develop substance abuse habits tend to abuse drugs in a more destructive way.
People who are anorexic believe they are fat, and they constantly strive to lose weight. Their diet are often dangerous and many of them are often experiencing the pains of starvation. With cocaine use, their appetites are suppressed so they are able to lose weight without feeling like they are starving all of the time.
What is the Solution?
In the case of people who suffer from an eating disorder and a substance abuse problem, treatment must be holistic. The patient must be treated for both the eating disorder and the substance abuse. This is the only way they will be helped.
If you or someone you love is suffering from either an eating disorder or cocaine addiction, it is imperative that you seek help immediately. There is no shame in asking for help when you need it. Asking for help may just save your life; this is true of those who suffer from eating disorders and those who suffer with addiction.