Co-Occurring Problems: When Disordered Eating and Substance Use Collide

Presented by Kim Dennis, MD, CEDS on 04-17-2015 at 9 a.m. Pacific to 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern)

About 3% of the population have eating disorders. However, among those that abuse drugs or alcohol, the rate of eating disorders increases to 35%. Conversely, young girls who experience problems with eating disorders are much more likely to experiment with cocaine and inhalants. In fact, research shows that the risk increases four times.

It is important that therapists recognize the connection between substance abuse (SA) and eating disorders (ED). Treatment for a girl with co-occurring disorders needs to include experts in both areas. Ideally, professionals that specialize in co-occurring disorders will devise a treatment plan together to assist her in healing from both of these areas. Fortunately, full recovery is possible with the correct care.

When the desire is to be thin, those with anorexia often depend on nicotine, caffeine, diet pills, and other stimulants to suppress their appetites or to speed up metabolism. Women with symptoms of bulimia may abuse laxatives and diuretics to purge.

This web conference will review the populations associated with these disorders and their co-occurrence. It will cover some of the psychological characteristics of people who are affected with ED and SA and examine the appropriate treatment recovery methodologies and the 12-step model as it relates to ED and SA.

This advanced, instructional level web conference is designed to help clinicians:

  1. Discuss the demographics associated with eating disorders, substance abuse, and their co-occurrence;
  2. Restructure related psychological characteristics (perfectionism, objectification, and hostility) of individuals with eating disorders and their relationship to substance use disorders;
  3. Examine the concept of addiction spectrum disorders and how it can be applied to eating disorders;
  4. Describe the recovery model and its use in the treatment of eating disorders.

If you have any questions or concerns about this web conference, or would like more information, please contact us here.

Event Reviews from Members

"I thought the whole thing was great." - Chapin Faulconer, LPC

"The most useful part of this workshop was that not enough attention is given to the co-occurring problems and Dr. Dennis covered this area quite well. She is informative and has a strong knowledge base." - Howard B. Weithorn, PhD

Continuing Education (CE) Information

Two CE credits will be provided by for attending this web conference in its entirety. is also an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within counseling services. is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content., SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

To receive CE credit hours for an archived event, you will need to complete a survey as well as a 12 or 15-question exam, verifying that you listened to or watched the event in its entirety. Archived CE events generally are considered "homestudy" by licensing boards.

Registration Information

Premium and Pro Membership with GoodTherapy includes access to this web conference at no additional cost, as well as other member benefits such as a profile listing in GoodTherapy's Therapist Directory. Not yet a member? Sign up for a Premium or Pro Membership, here.

Just want CE credits? Sign up for a monthly or annual CE Subscription with GoodTherapy to get unlimited access to our CE Program, including this event, other live CE web conferences, and hundreds of hours of homestudy courses.

Mental health professionals who are not members can attend this live web conference for $30.95 or access the homestudy recording for $15.50. Sign up here to purchase this CE course and earn a CE certificate.

If the event is canceled by GoodTherapy, registrants who purchased the event will be notified and the charge for the event will be refunded

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Meet the Presenter

Kim Dennis, MD, CEDS

Kim Dennis, MD, CEDS

Dr. Kim Dennis specializes in the treatment of addictions, eating disorders, posttraumatic stress, and co-occurring disorders. She is the medical director and CEO for the residential treatment center Timberline Knolls, where she supervises medical staff and directs the treatment program. Dr. Dennis takes a holistic approach to psychiatry, incorporating spiritual, psycho-social, and biological approaches in order to tailor an individual treatment plan for each resident.

Dr. Dennis frequently contributes to ABC News, CNN, and other news networks, as well as Boston Globe, Huffington Post, WebMD, Chicago Tribune, Behavioral Healthcare, and Addiction Professional. She has written on the topics of co-occurring eating disorders and self-harm, family therapy and medication for treatment of anorexia nervosa in adolescents, and gender differences in the development of psychopathology.

Dr. Dennis is a member of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, American Medical Association, American Society for Addiction Medicine and the Academy for Eating Disorders. She also sits on the medical advisory board for the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD). For more information on Dr. Dennis and her clinic, please visit

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • Logo has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo This course has been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

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