The Renfrew Center Eating Disorder Treatment Facility


First in Eating Disorders

Since 1985, The Renfrew Centers have been providing clinical excellence within a nurturing environment  empowering adolescent girls and women to change their lives.

Professional Webinar: Numbing the Pain - Exploring and Treating Substance Use in Eating Disorder Clients

December 2, 2020, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Numbing the Pain: Exploring and Treating
Substance Use in Eating Disorder Clients

Presented by: Kristin Szostak, MA, LPC
Site Director, The Renfrew Center of Philadelphia – Center City

Wednesday, December 2, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm (EST) 

Studies reveal that nearly 50% of individuals struggling with an eating disorder have abused drugs or alcohol, compared to 9% of the general population. With this in mind, there is a strong link between substance use and eating disorders in women. Both groups share risk factors including low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, family history, social pressure, and brain chemistry, as well as personality traits such as addictive and compulsive behaviors.

This presentation will explore the belief systems fueling the cravings and desires that propel individuals into a relentless quest for the perfect body, the perfect life and the magic key to numb difficult emotions and internal pain. Attendees will learn how the combination of substance use and disordered eating provides a perilous ‘escape’ for individuals and what clinicians can offer for effective and appropriate treatment.

About the Presenter:

Kristin Szostak, MA, LPC, is the Site Director at The Renfrew Center of Philadelphia – Center City. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Rutgers University and her Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling Psychology from LaSalle University. Ms. Szostak has extensive experience in leadership, administration and direct care, serving those in recovery from substance use disorders, co-occurring mental health disorders and individuals in the criminal justice system. She has also worked in a multitude of community agencies where she provided personalized and complete care. Ms. Szostak strives earnestly to develop and foster connections as she walks with individuals along their journey to recovery and a full return to living.

For questions, please contact Melissa Falzarano at 1-877-367-3383 or