Up to 50% of individuals with eating disorders abuse alcohol or illicit drugs, a rate five times higher than the general population. People with eating disorders may use stimulants to control appetite and to provide energy for exercise and, consequently, dependence can develop. Particular personality traits, such as impulsiveness or obsessionality, have been connected to both eating disorders and drug use and research has demonstrated that there are several similarities between the physiological conditions and mechanisms of eating disorders and substance abuse, including shared brain pathways, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and social pressures. This fantastic session explores the relationship between eating disorders and drug use and offers a great overview of both conditions and ways to promote recovery.
Dr Sarah Trobe is a registered clinical psychologist with experience in both the public and private sectors, predominantly in working with children and adolescents presenting with complex mental health difficulties. Sarah holds a bachelor of arts (Hons), a PhD in clinical psychology, and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society. Sarah is passionate about setting up strong treatment networks and collaborations throughout the state, with skills in service development and multidisciplinary care and coordination.
Outside of The Centre of Excellence in Eating Disorders (CEED), Sarah’s current clinical work is focused on supporting young people with overweight and obesity. She is completing her masters in nutrition. These clinical and research pathways underlie Sarah’s interest in the link between physical health and mental health and current care structures in this field. See Educator Profile