Eating disorders (ED)

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ED (i.e., anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder) and AOD use frequently co-occur [869]. The co-occurrence of ED and AOD use disorders is particularly complex and challenging, in terms of assessment and treatment, associated physical health complications, and the potential negative cognitive impacts of both disorders [870]. Assessment can be made even more difficult by a tendency of people with ED to minimise or deny symptoms, due to deliberate deception or a genuine lack of self-awareness [871]. It is however, important that this comorbidity be identified; the consequences of comorbid ED and AOD use are severe, and can include medical complications [872], additional, severe psychiatric comorbidities [873- 875], suicidal ideation and attempts [874, 876], and mortality [877, 878].

It is vital for AOD workers to be able to recognise the clinical and subthreshold signs of ED, and have some knowledge about simple management strategies.