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Dallas Addiction Specialists Reveal Discovery in New Book

DALLAS, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Sandy Mullen and Cathy Napier began comparing notes and observations about patients they were caring for in the eating disorders unit at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, a surprising discovery surfaced: the seemingly successful treatment of a patient's primary addiction often fed the growth of another, hidden addiction.

After reviewing hundreds of cases, Mullen, RN, an eating disorders specialist at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, and Napier, former director of Presbyterian's chemical dependency program, have authored a new book about their findings, Swinging Door of Addiction: A Spiritual Guide to Recovery. The book, which includes a forward by entertainer Naomi Judd, gives readers an inside glimpse into the world of dual addictions, substance abuse and eating disorders.

The authors will host a book signing at 7 p.m., Nov. 14, at Borders Book Store in Dallas' West Village.

"These patients were struggling with numerous addictions, each addiction relying on another," Mullen said. "We were seeing eating disorder patients we sent home healthy, coming back over and over again -- worse off than when they left treatment. The secret they all had was that their chemical addictions were feeding their eating disorders."

The authors recount the case of a young woman who sought treatment for an eating disorder. The woman discovered that pills, in the form of amphetamines, almost entirely eliminated her appetite. She became dangerously thin because of the eating disorder and in the process acquired a chemical dependence, a "hidden addiction."

"The problem is that many treatment programs regard eating disorders and chemical dependencies as separate and distinct problems," Mullen said. "The issues are then dealt with separately and with different methods. But we've found that the best way to treat these patients is through combined therapy for both problems at the same time."

The book is an invitation for people to start journaling about their recovery. "It's to get them started on their life's journey to recovery," Mullen said.

The book is also featured in Gurze, the preeminent scientific catalogue in the field of eating disorders.

"The readers of this book get to learn from two experts on the subject," said Dr. Jim Harris, director of Presbyterian's eating disorders program. "It's not only a book for people dealing with dual addictions but also the families and friends of people struggling with this disease."

SOURCE Texas Health Resources
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