Assessment and treatment of co-occurring eating disorders in publicly funded addiction treatment programs

Susan Merle Gordon, J. Aaron Johnson, Shelly F. Greenfield, Lisa Cohen, Therese Killeen, Paul M. Roman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: Publicly funded addiction treatment programs were surveyed to increase understanding of treatment options for persons with co-occurring eating and substance use disorders. Methods: Data were collected between 2002 and 2004 from face-to-face interviews with program directors of a nationally representative sample of 351 addiction treatment programs. Results: Half of the programs screen patients for eating disorders; 29% admit all persons with eating disorders, and 48% admit persons with eating disorders of low severity. Few programs attempt to treat eating disorders. Programs that admit and treat patients with eating disorders are more likely to emphasize a medical-psychiatric model of addiction, use psychiatric medications, admit patients with other psychiatric disorders, and have a lower caseload of African-American patients. Conclusions: Generally, patients with co-occurring eating and substance use disorders do not appear to receive structured assessment or treatment for eating disorders in addiction treatment programs. These results highlight the need for education of addiction treatment professionals in assessment of eating disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1056-1059
Number of pages4
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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