Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse Disorders related to indulgence are among the most controversial, especially

Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse  Disorders related to indulgence are among the most controversial, especially between religious and non-religious practitioners.  For example, some view alcoholism as a disease, while others would identify it as drunkenness and sin.  Some suggest various eating disorders are a problem of self-control, while others take a more medical model approach.  Indeed, the scriptures do speak against things such as drunkenness and lack of self-control.  Does that mean all such behavior is a lack of control, or can there be medical / disorder etiologies as well?  Is it possible they can be both sinful and mental illness?  Often treatment involves a “12-step” program that focuses on the individual’s choice for their recovery, yet often views them as never being “cured”.  Maintaining sobriety is the primary focus rather than a cure.  Others, such as the treatment perspectives of Passages (Pax and Chris Prentiss) take a more holistic approach that focuses on a point of being cured.  Many Christian treatment efforts take more of the 12 step approach however.  After reading about the etiologies of these disorders, and considering various scriptures related to the matter, discuss your thoughts on both the cause and treatment of such disorders?  To what extent is personal responsibility expected in the treatment?  Would you consider such behaviors sin, mental illness, or perhaps both?  Is there a difference between some substance abuse disorders, and eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia?   Be sure to include both “science” (from your textbook, DSM, or other sources), and scripture in your discussion. 

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