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Study Shows Link Between Drug Addiction and Binge-Eating

There is never one sole reason behind substance abuse. Several factors including genetic disposition, peer pressure and past trauma can all increase an individual's susceptibility to addiction. But, by familiarizing themselves with these variables, parents may be able to spot a destructive drug habit in their children before it takes over their lives.

A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine this month has revealed another element that may increase a teen's risk of developing a drug abuse problem. Bloomberg News reports that adolescents who binge-eat are nearly two times more likely to use marijuana and other illegal substances.

"Overeating and binge eating can be problematic for all youth," said lead author Kendrin Sonneville, a nutrition director at Boston Children's Hospital. "We should be cognizant of the eating habits of all youth separate from their weight.”

Sonneville, a nutrition director speculated that this link between binge-eating and substance abuse could be due to impulse control. He argues that people who eat excessive amounts at once are more likely to treat drugs in a similar way. However, the study didn't show any correlation between binge-eating and alcoholism.

The study involved monitoring the eating habits of 16,882 children and adolescents over the course nine years. The participants ranged from 9 to 15 years of age.

Though there is a relationship between these two behaviors, that doesn't mean it is cause-and-effect. However, in order to effectively treat an addiction, it is important to understand that impulses that may be driving it.

If someone you love has fallen victim to substance abuse, you may not know what steps to take to help them break free of their addiction. Our professional interventionists can help by coordinating a drug use intervention and ongoing support throughout the rehabilitation process.

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