Eating disorders in women who abuse alcohol.
Peveler R., Fairburn C.
It has been suggested that various forms of addictive behaviour and substance abuse co-exist more frequently than would be expected by chance. Such co-morbidity may lessen the effectiveness of treatment, and may not be recognized by clinicians who specialize in one particular form of addiction. This study addresses one aspect of this issue: the co-existence of eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Women attending an alcohol treatment unit completed a self-report measure of the clinical features of eating disorders. Thirty-six per cent of the sample reported the symptom of binge-eating, 26% fulfilled diagnostic criteria for a probable current clinical eating disorder, and 19% had a history of probable anorexia nervosa. The findings suggest that the behaviour and attitudes characteristic of clinical eating disorders are over-represented in women receiving treatment for an alcohol problem, and further study of such co-morbidity is merited.