Monday, August 08, 2011

Press Release: Integrated Treatment of Co-Occurring Disorders is key to Saving Lives of Women with Addiction

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Chicago – August 8, 2011 – Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center reports people suffering from addiction rarely, if ever, have just substance abuse or addiction issues.  Most addicts have trauma histories, many have mood and/or anxiety disorders, and up to 50 percent of women with substance abuse disorder have co-occurring eating disorders.

 “We were sadly reminded of how lethal the combination of an eating disorder and substance abuse can be with the recent death of Amy Winehouse,” said Kim Dennis, M.D., medical director at Timberline Knolls. “Underweight anorexia nervosa has the highest premature mortality rate of all eating disorders.  The mortality rate increases significantly when binge-purge behavior and substance abuse are present. Amy Winehouse’s struggles with substance abuse received extensive media attention, and to a lesser extent her reports of an eating disorder have been publicized.  Tragically, she very well may have died from the effects of this deadly combination.”

 Dr. Dennis reports that an integrated treatment approach is imperative for all residents at Timberline Knolls. Many treatment centers use different treatment approaches for eating disorders than they would for chemical dependency, and yet another approach for a mood disorder.  Residents in the grip of an eating disorder, substance abuse and depression have compromised mental function to begin with, and trying to engage them in various treatment strategies yields poorer outcomes than integrated treatment approaches.

“Our treatment philosophy is to keep things simple and engage residents with one approach that will deeply impact their acute symptoms and also their long-term lives,” adds Dr. Dennis. “The approach becomes a blueprint for living and having a sustainable and abundant life.”

Timberline Knolls uses a special integrated 12-step approach in conjunction with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). This therapeutic combination saves lives by treating both the eating disorder and chemical dependency or other co-occurring disorder.

“Our default position is that any woman that comes to Timberline Knolls for treatment for substance abuse has other addictions as well. Those can include an eating disorder, self-harm, trauma and other addictions such as sex, shopping or relationship,” said Dr. Dennis.

Dr. Dennis also states research shows that early and adequate intervention yields the best long-term outcomes for women with addiction.

“The longer a person is in the disease, the more difficult it is to impact the profound personality, cognitive, social and spiritual changes needed for lifelong recovery,” adds Dr. Dennis.

 About Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center
Timberline Knolls is a leading private residential treatment center for eating disorders and substance abuse, with or without trauma, a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. Expert treatment staff offers a nurturing environment of recovery for women and girls (ages 12 – 65+) on a wooded 43-acre campus in suburban Chicago. Women and families seeking Christian treatment have the option of working with a dedicated Christian therapist. For more information on Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, call us at 877.257.9611.

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