There are many similarities between eating disorders and substance abuse and a number of people suffer from both. Both are an addiction in the sense that people with eating disorders continue their ED behaviors despite obvious negative consequences, just like people who are addicted to drugs continue to abuse substances in spite of the results--they just can't help it.
Some research has found that many drug addicts were compulsive eaters before they switched to substance abuse, and other studies have found that similar inherited characteristics predispose people to both eating disorders and substance abuse.
Both eating disorders and substance abuse are negative and harmful ways of coping with stress and life problems, so it makes sense that they have some similar causes and are known to co-occur.
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