Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Connection Between Binge Eating and Drug Abuse

It is a fair and clear statement that the problem of drug abuse and addiction is a complicated issue. Addiction can come with a lot of baggage emotionally. It is also something that can be influenced by many different factors. There is no doubt that the teenage years are a critical period in determining many areas of personality and circumstance that may lead to addictive behaviour or full blown addiction to a substance or substances. Often characterized by exploration and experimentation, a teenager is in a very vulnerable stage of their lives when it comes to coming under the influence and pull of addictive substances.

One way in which teens can be more vulnerable to drug addiction is through the
different issue of binge eating. Binge eating is defined as the time when an individual
will consume food far beyond what is needed or expected at that particular time. This
is characterized by a loss of control over eating patterns and can be a very destructive
behaviour. The researchers within the Children’s Hospital of Boston have now shown
a connection between binge eating and drug use.

The study involved over sixteen thousand participants, both male and female. Over a
period of nine years surveys were distributed on a yearly basis. The results were very
interesting, showing that binge eating was more prevalent in girls as opposed to boys.
An explanation by the researchers was that "In summary, we found that binge eating,
but not overeating, predicted the onset of overweight/obesity and worsening depressive
symptoms. We further observed that any overeating, with or without LOC [loss of control], predicted the onset of marijuana and other drug use."

It is also very important that the subject of earlier ages in addiction be given attention.
While unpleasant, teenagers do in some cases find themselves addicted to serious
substances, requiring expert help. Adolescence is of course a turbulent time in a person’s
life. The fact that there is even more of a taboo or sense of failure attached to teenage
issues with drugs and alcohol does little to help treatment and open discussion on the
subject and how to solve it. Far better for teenagers to understand that help and support
is a phone call away should it be needed, as opposed to suffering in silence.

The value of this knowledge is very clear. As the issue of drug addiction is so
complicated and diverse, knowledge from different areas and stages of life is vital. It
is necessary to the process of understanding every addicted individual that research
is carried out in different areas of life. Studies like this completed in separate fields for
different reasons can highlight important features of our psychology that can lead to
serious gains in the understanding of addiction. The more staff of clinics are armed with
diverse knowledge, the more comprehensive their treatment can be. This can help make
sure that ultimately, addicts are treated and stay treated instead of relapsing.

LifeWorks Community in Surrey is dedicated to recovery. For more information please visit their site.