Alcohol and drug use disorders are common among women with bulimia newosa (BN) and their family members. However, it is not known whether there is a familial relationship between BN and substance use disorders. We compared 47 women with BN and 44 non-eating-disordered community control women, and their first-degree relatives (177 and 190, respectively). BN probands were stratified by the presence (43%) or absence (57%) of lifetime alcohol and/or drug dependence. The first-degree relatives of substance-dependent BN probands had significantly higher lifetime rates of alcohoWdrug dependence (38%), compared with relatives of nonsubstance-depen-dent BN probands (10%) or relatives of community controls (18%). These data suggest that BN and substance dependence are transmitted independently in families.