(Albany, NY) Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz joined representatives from New York’s Comprehensive Care Centers for Eating Disorders (CCC’s) in marking National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and celebrating the achievements of the CCC’s in battling the devastating effects of eating disorders.
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric diseases, and continue to be a severe problem in the State of New York. Additionally, individuals with eating disorders are five times more likely to abuse alcohol or illicit drugs as their peers. Co-occurrence of alcoholism and anorexia magnifies the impact of both diseases; it has been associated with high rates of suicide as well as serious gastrointestinal problems.
Long a champion of these centers, Ortiz worked to pass a bill creating these centers in 2004. Before their creation, patients were forced to seek treatment outside of New York State or forego it altogether.
“We must continue to support the lifesaving work done by these Comprehensive Care Centers and work to promote a healthy New York. Since my legislation was passed, countless lives have been changed, some of them saved. It is critical that patients and families have access to treatment in New York State and that awareness of these deadly illnesses continues to grow. As chair of the committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, the connection between eating disorders and substance abuse is an issue that is very important to me. Through continued efforts, I will continue to work for a healthier New York,” said Ortiz.