A personal and familial history of substance misuse problems was obtained from 25 anorectic, 43 bulimic, and 33 obese women admitted to an inpatient treatment unit for eating disorders. Similar data was also collected on 40 noneating disordered, depressed women admitted to a general psychiatric ward at the same facility. Results showed significant differences between groups, with bulimic subjects reporting greater frequency of both personal and familial substance misuse problems across all groups. In addition, bulimic subjects with personal substance misuse problems reported a significantly greater frequency of familial substance misuse. However, bulimic subjects with and without substance misuse problems reported similar frequencies of familial substance misuse problems. Results point out the complex interaction of dispositional and situational variables in the formation of substance misuse problems in eating disorders, and the need to examine more completely the substance misuse and developmental histories of eating disordered patients.