Many individuals with substance abuse disorders also suffer from eating disorders. Statistically, nearly one-half of individuals with eating disorders abuse alcohol or illicit drugs, compared to only nine percent of the remaining general population. Many professionals believe that if you see signs of an eating disorder, it is important to look for signs of substance abuse, chain smoking, or excessive caffeine drinking as well. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are the eating disorders most commonly linked to substance abuse, and they share many common risk factors and characteristics. Individuals who are dependent on alcohol or drugs and also display eating disorder behaviors are more likely to attempt suicide, and have anxiety, personality and other behavioral disorders. Generally, the most common substances that individuals with eating disorders abuse are caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, diuretics, laxatives, amphetamines, cocaine and heroin (all of these substances suppress appetite). Now that this correlation between eating disorders and substance abuse has been identified, it is important for parents and educators to promote healthy body images, prevention, and support for young people who are showing early signs of these disorders. Individuals suffering can often find help at holistic, non 12-step treatment centers like Passages Malibu, where we are experienced in treating these types of compounding addictions.