Food Addiction Treatment Programs
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Girl staring at sweets in the refrigeratorFood addiction is a serious medical condition. Similar to drug addiction, the symptoms of food addiction can include difficulty controlling behavior, cravings, tolerance, dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and relapse.

Unfortunately, many people who suffer from food addiction may hesitate to get help because the condition is often accompanied by feelings of shame, guilt, and low self-esteem.

This article answers the following questions about food addiction treatment:

Is There a Cure for Food Addiction?

According to The Food Addiction Institute, it is possible to overcome food addiction. Like other addictions, the condition may not be “cured” with a single course of treatment. But treatment can help to bring the condition into remission and can help you to repair any psychological, social, and economic damage.2

The goals of food addiction treatment are to:

Treatment for food addiction is similar to treatment for drug addiction. It typically includes counseling and support groups to help reduce cravings and to prevent relapse. Some insurance providers offer coverage for eating disorder treatment. Medications may also be used to reduce binge-eating episodes and/or suppress appetite.3  

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Food Addiction Withdrawal

When people think of withdrawal symptoms, they typically think of substance abuse. However, food addiction has been shown to have its own associated withdrawal symptoms.

Some people with food addiction may have no withdrawal symptoms, but others can experience a variety of symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the foods eaten and the person’s body chemistry.

Man with food addiction withdrawal headacheCommon withdrawal symptoms people detoxing from food addiction may experience include:

Although these symptoms can occur when a person is detoxing from certain foods, the symptoms are not always a direct result of the addiction itself. Many people have underlying health conditions as a result of their food addiction, and these conditions can contribute to the symptoms.5

If you’d like to learn more about food addiction treatment options that include detox, call a treatment support advisor at . An Eating Disorder Assessment can help you understand your habits better.

Residential Inpatient Treatment

Residential inpatient food addiction treatment centers are available for those suffering from food addiction or another eating disorder.

When people commit to a residential inpatient food addiction rehab program, they live at the facility and remain there 24/7 for a designated period of time. A starting length of treatment is typically 28-30 days, but programs can be 60, 90, 180, or 365 days in some cases.

Benefits of attending a residential recovery center include:

Outpatient Treatment Programs

Outpatient food addiction recovery centers are similar to inpatient programs. The treatments offered are typically the same, but care takes place on a part-time basis.

Outpatient food addiction rehab programs are ideal for those suffering from less severe food addictions as well as those who wish to remain active in their personal and professional lives. Some common treatment options offered in outpatient food addiction recovery centers include:

Luxury and Executive Facilities

Massages as part of Luxury or Executive Treatment for Food AddictionLuxury and executive treatment facilities are residential programs that are typically much more expensive than standard recovery centers. But they offer extra privacy and access to high-end amenities, services, and features, such as:

If you need help deciding which type of food addiction treatment center is right for you, call our helpline anytime at .

Therapies for Food Addiction

Therapy for food addiction or binge eating disorder helps a person reduce the frequency of binge behavior, lose weight, and address psychological issues related to the addiction. Therapies for food addiction may be offered on an inpatient or outpatient basis and include the following:3

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications

A few medications have successfully reduced symptoms of food addiction and binge eating disorder. These may be prescribed in food addiction rehab and recovery centers. The most commonly prescribed are:3

Support Groups and 12-Step Programs

Support groups and 12-step programs help people work on overcoming food addiction. Many of the 12-step programs available use the same 12-step approach developed by Alcoholics Anonymous, where participants work through the steps with the help of a sponsor.

Some of the common 12-step programs for food addiction include:

How to Find the Best Food Addiction Treatment Centers

If you or someone you love is suffering from food addiction, there is hope. To learn more about food addiction treatment centers near you, contact our recovery support hotline for information and assistance at .

Read next: Getting Help for Food Addiction


[1]. Olsen, C. (2011). Natural Rewards, Neuroplasticity, and Non-Drug Addictions. Neuropharmacology, 61(7): 1109-1122.

[2]. Werdell, P. (2011). Is it Possible to Recover from Food Addiction? Food Addiction Institute

[3]. Mayo Clinic. (2016). Binge Eating Disorder.

[4]. Zolfagharifard, E. (2015). Cheese really is like crack: Study reveals cheese triggers the same part of the brain as drugs. DailyMail UK.

[5]. Food Addiction Institute (2016). Assess, Treat and Refer: On Assessment, Treatment and Referrals.