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Book Review

Eating Disorders, Addictions and Substance Use Disorders: Research, Clinical and Treatment Perspectives

Katherine A. Halmi, MD

Published: March 23, 2016

Eating Disorders, Addictions and Substance Use Disorders: Research, Clinical and Treatment Perspectives

edited by Timothy D. Brewerton and Amy Baker Dennis. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, 2014, 681 pages, $189.00 (hardcover).

This unique textbook addressing the evaluation and treatment of co-occurring eating disorders and substance use disorders/addictions is a valuable reference for those who treat patients with these diagnoses. The book is divided into 3 sections: Research Perspectives, Clinical Perspectives, and Treatment Perspectives, with some overlap in the last 2 sections. Each chapter begins with an abstract and keywords. Most chapters are concise and well written.

For clinicians, the Clinical and Treatment sections will be most helpful, especially the introduction to eating disorders for substance ab use specialists and the introduction to substance use disorders for the eating disorder specialist. Both chapters have a comprehensive list of references. Another chapter discussing similarities and differences of eating disorders and addictions emphasizes the complexities of fitting eating disorders into a simple addiction model. A comprehensive and useful chart of major medical complications of eating disorders and substance use disorders is presented in a chapter by Powers and Cloak. Other chapters discuss common comorbidities such as impulse-control behaviors in eating disorders and substance use disorders.

With no evidence-based treatment available for patients with both eating disorders and substance use disorders/addictions, the principles for an integrated treatment approach to be developed and tested are concisely presented by Dennis et al. Other chapters in the treatment section describe specific treatment techniques such as cognitive behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, mindfulness, family and couples therapy, self-help, and alternative treatments. Most of the chapters indicate the presence or absence of randomized controlled trials. Unfortunately, there is no chapter devoted to pharmacologic intervention for these disorders.

The research section covers animal models, neurotransmitter systems, neuroimaging, genetics, nutrition, and preventive studies. Frank provides one of the more comprehensive chapters, covering neurotransmitter systems in eating disorders and substance use disorders/addictions. Another outstanding chapter describes the overlapping and unique characteristics of neuroimaging studies of eating disorders and substance use disorders/addictions. An informative and useful table of medical conditions and symptoms related to malnutrition and electrolyte abnormalities is presented in the nutrition research chapter. Distinguishing addiction from compulsions is discussed in the context of exercising by Cook et al.

To sum up, this textbook is a useful resource for information on many aspects of the co-occurrence of eating disorders and substance use disorders/addictions.

Katherine A. Halmi, MD

Author affiliation: Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York.

Potential conflicts of interest: None reported.

J Clin Psychiatry 2016;77(3):e329

© Copyright 2016 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

Volume: 77

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