The Role of Eating Addiction in Chronic Pain Management

I recently received the published copy of my latest book “The Eating Addiction Relapse Prevention Workbook” that I co-authored with Dr. Shari Corbitt.  At a relapse prevention training I conducted for recovering healthcare providers this past weekend we sold many copies to people who had their chronic pain management impacted by eating addiction problems. 

I first noticed this dynamic almost 20 years ago when I was working with people with chronic pain and coexisting addiction in an inpatient treatment hospital in Campbell California.  We would get peoples addictive disorder in remission and their pain managed effectively but many of them started using food to sooth and cope instead of just for fuel.  The results would eventually lead to a pain flare up and or a relapse episode with the addiction.


I completed the first Food Addiction Workbook in 2001 but this year I wanted to address the entire spectrum of “Eating” and asked Dr. Shari Stillman-Corbitt, the Clinical Director of Sierra Tucson to co-author The Eating Addiction Relapse Prevention Workbook. Dr. Corbitt brought a long history of working with eating disordered patients to our project and we believe it is now a much better instrument to help people with eating addictions to get and stay in a true recovery process.

The Eating Addiction Relapse Prevention Workbook is designed to increase patients’ knowledge and understanding of the nature of eating addiction. Some people may be a normal weight, if their metabolism is such that they don’t gain weight, or some of them may purge calories through excessive exercise. However, many of them will probably be overweight, or “see-sawing” up and down, as they try first one magic pill, diet or program, and then another. Some of them may be obese, the definition of which means that they are more than 20 percent over the weight suggested by actuarial tables. These people may know that they are destroying and distorting their body, but be unable to stop eating compulsively.

This workbook is for compulsive overeaters, food addicts and binge eaters. These terms describe people who use eating and food to manage feelings and cope with life. Although the primary purpose of this workbook is to help patients develop a relapse prevention plan and create a schedule of activities to assist in that goal, we believe they must first develop a definition of abstinence that works for them and an effective recovery plan that is life enhancing which we refer to in this workbook as a Healthy Living Plan.

The first six exercises in this book are designed to take patients through a series of steps to make sure that they are stable in their recovery. Some of them may already be working a solid recovery program but we believe these exercises can also benefit them. The last five exercises help patients identify and manage high risk situations that could set them up for relapse despite their commitment to their Healthy Living Plan (recovery) and develop an effective recovery plan designed to help them manage those high risk situations.


To read more about the workbook please go to my article Eating Addiction Needs a Strategic Relapse Prevention Protocol that you can download for free on our Articles page. To purchase this book or the Eating Addiction High Risk Situation List Pamphlet please Click Here. 

If you want to learn more about the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System please check out our website at To learn more about how to develop an effective chronic pain management plan please go to our Publications page and check out my book the Addiction-Free Pain Management® Recovery Guide: Managing Pain and Medication in Recovery.

To look for my upcoming trainings please go to our Calendar page.

To read our latest Chronic Pain Solutions Newsletter please click here.   To sign up for Chronic Pain Solutions, please click here and input your name and email address. You will then receive an autoresponse email that you need to reply to in order to finalize enrollment.
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