Addiction and Eating Disorders Often Linked in Young Adults

August 12, 2016

Written by

Claudia Black Young Adult Center

Author Headshot



In a recently published Recovery Campus magazine article, Remuda Ranch at The Meadows Senior Fellow Jessica Setnick takes a closer look at the Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) eating disorder program at Texas Tech University. It is one of the first communities of its kind to recognize the need for eating disorder support services among students who are also struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

“Reports from eating disorder treatment facilities suggest that up to half of all individuals in recovery from eating disorders also have a substance use disorder. Some individuals develop an addiction to stimulants or diet pills by way of an unhealthy desire to manage weight or control appetite. Others experience dysfunctional overeating or undereating as an inadvertent replacement behavior for drug or alcohol use.”

Most of the students who participate in the CRC eating disorder program at Texas Tech have both an eating disorder and an addiction diagnosis. Some come to CRC having already identified their eating issues, while others only realize they have dysfunctional eating patterns after reaching out to CRC for another reason. The demand for the eating disorder has quickly grown since it opened, underscoring the importance of recognizing the prevalence of co-occuring disorders among those struggling with addiction. Read more about the groundbreaking program at