The Dangers of Purging Disorder and Stimulant Abuse

From the standpoint of someone struggling with weight issues, stimulant drugs can seem like a godsend considering how these substances decrease appetite, burn energy and promote weight loss. In actuality, the combined effects of purging disorder and stimulant abuse leaves a person wide open for developing severe medical and psychological problems.

According to Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, an estimated 50 percent of people struggling with eating disorders abuse addictive substances. On the flip-side, as much as 35 percent of substance abusers have an eating disorder.

For people affected by purging disorder in particular, stimulant-based drugs, such as cocaine, Adderall and methamphetamine are the most popular. Understanding how these two conditions work to reinforce one another can be a good first step towards helping you overcome the effects of this eating disorder in your life.

Please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 888-647-0051 (Who Answers?) to ask about treatment options for purging disorder and/or stimulant abuse.

Purging Disorder Components

Purging Disorder

Purging disorder and stimulant abuse increase one’s risk of malnutrition.

According to the International Journal of Eating Disorders, someone living with purging disorder tends to have a warped body image in terms of always feeling overweight when in fact he or she is normal weight or even underweight. In an attempt to minimize weight gain, a person engages in purging behavior, which entails self-induced vomiting after food intake.

Technically-speaking, purging disorder falls under the Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified category since this particular behavior plays a role in different types of eating disorders, such as bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa, according to Dartmouth College. For someone struggling with body image issues, anything that can help in managing weight concerns may be viewed as a welcome remedy.

Herein lies the dangers of abusing stimulants when struggling with a purging disorder.

Dangers of Abusing Stimulants


In an effort to minimize calorie intake, purging behaviors deprive the body of needed nutrient materials. Likewise, the use of laxatives works to speed the passing of food through the digestive tract, which also prevents needed nutrient materials from being absorbed.

The added effects of stimulant abuse not only works to reduce a person’s appetite, but also overworks the body’s systems in the process. Since this degree of overwork requires even more nutrients to maintain the body’s systems as normal, abusing stimulants actually increases the rate at which malnutrition occurs.

Medical Risks

The ongoing strain placed on the body from purging disorder and stimulant abuse greatly increases a person’s risk of developing any number of medical problems, including:

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Dehydration
  • Weakened heart muscles
  • Anemia
  • Mouth sores
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Chronic diarrhea or constipation
  • Irregular heart beat


As some of the most addictive drugs on the market, stimulants carry a high risk for addiction. As drug like cocaine and Adderall naturally produce powerful effects, it doesn’t take much time at all before a stimulant abuse problems turns into a full-blown addiction.

Once addiction develops, the damaging effects from purging and abusing stimulants progresses at an even faster rate.

Call our helpline at 888-647-0051 (Who Answers?) to ask about available treatment options.


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