SOURCE: Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center

Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center

June 08, 2015 10:29 ET

Treating Co-Occurring Disorders Simultaneously Important for Successful Long Term Recovery

Timberline Knolls and Eating Disorder Hope to Host Google Hangout on June 24 to Discuss Increased Need for Concurrent Treatment of Eating and Substance Use Disorders

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - June 08, 2015) - The recent settlement of a lawsuit involving the parents of Brandon Jacques, a young man who died because of negligent treatment and flaws in the mental healthcare system, has shed light on the importance of treating co-occurring disorders, namely eating and substance use disorders, simultaneously. Brandon struggled with both alcoholism and bulimia and was tragically bounced from clinic to clinic in two different states before his sudden death

"Sadly, this young man was a victim of unethical admission procedures and clearly needed to be treated simultaneously for both an eating and substance use disorder," said Kim Dennis, MD, CEO and medical director of Timberline Knolls, a residential treatment center for women and adolescent girls struggling with eating disorders, addiction, trauma, mood and co-occurring disorders.

Although Brandon died four years ago, the story came to light recently due to the settling of a lawsuit by his parents. They won a substantial judgment for their son's wrongful death.

"We know a strikingly high rate of co-occurrence exists between eating and substance use disorders," adds Dr. Dennis. "Despite this knowledge, there is a paucity of training programs to equip clinicians with the tools to identify and treat both."

To address this further, Eating Disorder Hope and Timberline Knolls are hosting a special Google Hangout to discuss the importance of treating co-occurring disorders at 11:45 a.m. CDT on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. Dr. Dennis, along with Jacquelyn Ekern and Crystal Karges of Eating Disorder Hope, will be the featured guest on the Google Hangout.

To learn more about the Google Hangout and to register, please visit:

Dr. Dennis reports very few treatment centers offer the expertise required to recognize and effectively treat both disorders concurrently. Add to this already grim picture the fact that those with anorexia nervosa have the highest premature mortality rate of any mental illness, and of that population, those most at risk of sudden death are those with binge-purge behaviors who also abuse substances. And the stage is set for more tragedies.

"Eating disorders and substance abuse are both addictions and similar therapeutic approaches can be utilized to achieve recovery," said Dr. Dennis. "Addressing them together not only makes sense, but research studies indicate that this strategy yields better long-term outcomes for patients."

Even more important than sufficient care is the need to have a multi-disciplinary treatment team who understands the complex medical, physical, psychological and spiritual issues inherent to each illness as well as the entire package of illnesses.

About Dr. Kim Dennis:

Dr. Kim Dennis is a board-certified psychiatrist specializing in eating disorder treatment, addictions recovery, trauma / PTSD and co-occurring disorders. Dr. Dennis maintains a holistic perspective in the practice of psychiatry, and incorporates biological, psycho-social and spiritual approaches into the individually tailored treatment plan for each resident.

About Timberline Knolls:

Timberline Knolls is a leading private residential treatment center for women and adolescent girls (ages 12 - 65+) with eating disorders, substance abuse, trauma, mood and co-occurring disorders. Located in suburban Chicago, residents receive excellent clinical care from a highly trained professional staff on a picturesque 43-acre wooded campus. Women and families seeking Christian treatment can opt for specialized Christian-based therapy. For more information on Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, call us at 877.257.9611. We are also on Facebook -- Timberline Knolls, and LinkedIn -- Timberline Knolls.

About Eating Disorder Hope:

Eating Disorder Hope promotes ending eating disordered behavior, embracing life and pursuing recovery. Our mission is to foster appreciation of one's uniqueness and value in the world, unrelated to appearance, achievement or applause. We offer our vibrant online community articles & blogs by eating disorder experts, live Google Hangouts and Tweet Chats, videos, treatment referrals, inspirational recovery stories and HOPE!

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