Seminar highlights the link between substance abuse and eating disorders

Risk factors include stress, brain chemistry, and family history

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – More than 30 health care providers, recovery experts, and family services employees gathered for a panel discussion on substance abuse and eating disorders.

Hampshire Hope and Walden Behavioral Care hosted the event, which was held at the Union Station Grand Ballroom in Northampton.

Both organizations hope to raise awareness about how eating disorders and substance abuse are chronic relapsing diseases.

“What we try to do is remove the shame from people because they might blame themselves,” Community Relations Specialist Fiona Larosa-Waters explained. “They might think they made that choice, to pick up that drink. We try to remove that and explain to them that it is a disease of the brain.”

Thirty-five percent of people struggling with addiction have also struggled with an eating disorder.

Risk factors include stress, brain chemistry, and family history.

If you know someone struggling from an eating disorder or substance abuse.