Women in substance abuse treatment increasingly report weight-related concerns as motivation for drug use. However, limited research has explored the nature of these concerns or examined whether women in substance abuse treatment with weight-related concerns related to drug use differ from those who do not on variables relevant to eating pathology. Using a sample of 297 women in substance abuse treatment, this study examined two intertwined issues: (1) the prevalence and nature of weight-related concerns related to drug use and (2) whether women who endorse weight-related concerns related to drug use differ from those without weight-related concerns on body dissatisfaction, eating pathology, perceived pressure and internalization of thin-ideal media, and appearance-related drug-use expectancies. Descriptive analyses indicated that the majority of participants were concerned about gaining weight during treatment and/or that weight gain could trigger drug relapse. Analyses of variance revealed that women who reported weight-based concerns (both with regards to weight gain during treatment and relapse potential) endorsed higher levels of body dissatisfaction, dieting, bulimic symptoms, and thin-ideal internalization than women who did not endorse weight-related concerns. Results suggest that substance abuse treatment programs should be aware of and address weight-related concerns around drug use for women.
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2013
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