Disordered Eating Program

The Disordered Eating (DE) Program provides additional support to women when their relationship with food and/or body image is a potential risk factor for relapse on substances.

MARR’s DE Program helps women to identify how their behaviors and beliefs about food and their body may be connected to their substance use. Some past clients have learned that treating the underlying eating disorder was the missing piece that helped them stay sober.

MARR is one of the few addiction treatment providers in Georgia that offers integrated treatment for addiction and disordered eating.

Eating disorders (ED) and substance use disorders (SUD) frequently occur together. Research has shown that approximately 35% of people seeking SUD treatment also report some symptoms of disordered eating. For people who are diagnosed with both a SUD and an ED, it can be difficult to find competent care. The most effective type of care for those people is integrated treatment, where both disorders are addressed at the same time.

MARR is one of the few addiction treatment providers in Georgia that offers integrated treatment for addiction and disordered eating.

Who's Eligible?

MARR treats adults with a primary diagnosis of substance use disorder who also have disordered eating. Some women in the DE Program may have a history of an eating disorder. Other women may have some symptoms, like occasional binge eating, purging, or restricting their food intake. Some may be chronic dieters or use substances to help control their weight and appetite. Others may have a current eating disorder diagnosis. All individuals who wish to obtain treatment at MARR will go through a comprehensive assessment process to ensure that our program is the best fit. Some people, especially those who currently meet the criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, may require a higher level of care before admission to MARR.

Why Treat Disordered Eating?

Some people may question why they should address both the addiction and the disordered eating at the same time. Past clients have said, “I’m not here to focus on my food! I just need to get sober and I’ll worry about my binge eating later.” It is important to address disordered eating while in treatment because eating disorder behaviors—dieting, binge eating, and purging—are known to alter brain chemistry. These ED behaviors have been found to have addictive features, and affect brain chemistry like alcohol and drugs. To successfully treat the addiction to substances, it is important to abstain from ED behaviors. Complete recovery requires the development of coping skills and strategies to move beyond the illnesses. Treating the disordered eating helps to increase success in treatment and to prevent relapse on alcohol or drugs!

Program Highlights

Every client receives treatment that is customized to meet her specific needs. Components of the program include:
  • Additional Weekly Process Groups
  • Meal Groups
  • Individual Nutrition Consultations with Registered Dietitian
  • Individual Therapy
  • Mindful Eating & Intuitive Eating Education
  • Body Acceptance Education
  • Experiential Body Awareness Practices, Including Yoga