Drunkorexia – College Students Not Eating In Order To Drink More Alcohol

For most people, the term drunkorexia is a new term. It is the name of a disturbing new binge-drinking trend that has swept through college campuses. It is a scary new drinking culture where a person restricts food calories to make room for alcoholic drink calories. It is also known as the liquid diet. It is a combination of an eating disorder, anorexia, with binge drinking. Studies have shown that 30% of men and women between 18 and 23 are affected.

According to Wikipedia, it is “a colloquialism for self-imposed starvation or binge eating/purging combined with alcohol abuse.”

This behavior stems from the fear of gaining weight from alcohol intake. The behavior may be related to bulimia, where alcohol causes vomiting much easier and help manage eating anxieties. Those who wish to get intoxicated faster may avoid food during the day to allow alcohol to go through the stomach and the small intestines into the bloodstream. Some others think that alcohol has calories that they have to avoid food and replace their calories. It is a misconception since alcohol has no nutritional value and it has what is considered empty calories. This drinking disorder can get so bad and have an individual hospitalized for up to 3 weeks.

Avoiding food calories in favor of drinking calories can pose several risks. You compound the dangers of eating disorders and binge drinking, which can pose an even more significant threat to the individual’s physical, emotional, and mental health. Below are some of the risks;

  • Drinking on an empty stomach gets one trunk faster, and this, in turn, reduces their self-control, and they are predisposed to make bad decisions that they would not have made if they were sober
  • One may also experience binge eating since they are starving and they are unable to control their urge to eat
  • By reducing the amount of food calorie intake, the individual is at risk of not getting the nutrients they need for their body to function, and they might end up being malnourished

There is no specific treatment for it. It is a combination of two different disorders; hence treatment should focus on both of them. Not many treatment centers are capable of treating both alcoholism and the eating disorder. Also, there might be an underlying mental health disorder driving both alcoholism and an eating disorder.

Regaining a healthy life free from the eating disorder and alcoholism can be done if the individual has the correct information tools. Getting into a dual diagnosis program supervised by addiction certifies physicians, therapists, and psychiatrists who can create an individual plan. They will also provide the knowledge, skills, and support needed for the patient to rebuild his life, just like any other addiction—the earlier the diagnosis, the better the outcome.

To find balance and have a healthy lifestyle, the individual should learn to moderate and not eliminate food intake. They need to understand that it needs nutrients for the body to function, and if they do not intake food, they deprive their bodies of essential nutrients it needs to work.