#238 – Alcohol Abuse and Eating Disorders


Veronica and Chip discuss the relationship between eating disorders and alcohol abuse. They explore how eating disorders can exist before and after an alcohol problem and look at the relationship between eating disorders and sexual trauma.

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about this episode

There’s a common relationship between eating disorders and alcohol use disorders.

Food was the first thing I abused in secrecy. Then I discovered alcohol, and it continued to support my disordered eating. I often skipped meals to drink (“drunkorexia”), and then when I was hungover, that was just another excuse to skip meals for two days.

When I finally stopped drinking, my disordered eating continued. For months, binge eating was what I used to cope with my feelings that I could no longer numb with alcohol or drugs. It wasn’t until about 18 months of sobriety that I realized something was wrong and sought help to change those patterns.

There’s a lot of overlap between the two conditions, and it’s important to remember that addressing one addiction doesn’t automatically resolve the other. In today’s episode, Chip and I discuss:

  • Our experiences with disordered eating and alcohol abuse
  • Differences and similarities between eating disorders and alcohol dependency
  • The void that’s left after getting sober and cross-addiction
  • How drug misuse became part of eating disorders in the 90s
  • The connection between eating disorders and childhood trauma
  • Comparison of the behaviors, preoccupations, and mood-altering effects of eating disorders and alcoholism
  • Societal pressure to look thin and the impact of manipulated photographs on body image
  • The link between gastric band surgery and the development of substance use disorders.
  • Food as a coping mechanism and a source of comfort
  • How disordered eating can resurface after getting sober
  • The importance of seeking professional help in addressing eating disorders and addiction

key highlights

The Role of Social Media in Eating Disorders

The impact of social media on body image is undeniable, exacerbating concerns about weight and appearance. People often manipulate their images to appear thinner and more perfect, reinforcing unrealistic standards of beauty.


An Image-Driven World

We live in an image-driven world where body types like the Kardashians’ are idolized. despite the fact that they are often unattainable and altered through surgery. The constant exposure can affect people’s self-esteem and body image, even at an older age.


Childhood Eating Habits and Their Influence

People’s eating habits can tell a lot about their childhoods. Chip and I found our disordered eating resurfacing after getting sober from alcohol and drugs. Getting sober and staying sober means addressing all the layers of the onion, including disordered eating patterns.

resources mentioned

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