Drunkorexia (Eating Disorders & Alcohol): What Parents Should Know

Most people have heard of anorexia, but have you heard of “Drunkorexia”?  Though not an official diagnosis, this term refers to food restriction and alcohol consumption.  It has become more prevalent among young adults.  It is especially common in college students that are trying to keep themselves thin.  Parents should be aware of this issue so that they can help their adolescents overcome it so that it does not take over their life.  Catching this early is the key to making a full recovery before it begins to get out of hand.

What Is” Drunkorexia”?

“Drunkorexia” is a combination of excessive alcohol consumption and eating disorder behaviors. Generally, college age students will skip meals during the day in order to keep their weight down and the calories that they save is spent on alcohol.  A new study conducted by the University of Missouri that found girls are much more susceptible to this combination than guys.

People that are “Drunkorexic” will purge the alcohol they consume in the attempt to not gain weight

Double Downsides

The problem that teens and young adults are facing is that “Drunkorexia” causes double downsides.  While inadequate nutrition is something that can cause many health issues, the over consumption of alcohol poses many risks as well.  They will not only reap the physical repercussions of anorexia or bulimia, they will also have issues with alcohol abuse including alcohol poisoning and malnutrition.  While intoxicated, teens and college students are also much more likely to fall victim to physical or sexual abuse.

What to Look For

It is a good idea to educate yourself about this disorder, especially if your college student has a history of eating disorders or drinking.  There are a few signs that you can look for that will help you to recognize Drunkorexia in your adolescent.  Here are a few of these signs:

  • Frequently skipping meals
  • Spending a lot of money but having nothing to show for it
  • Poor grades
  • Poor class attendance
  • Rapid weight loss

The Good News

Most college campuses have recognized that eating disorder behaviors are a wide spread issue and they offer classes on nutrition and healthy living.  They offer many counseling services to students to educate them on the risks involved with both eating disorders and alcohol abuse.

Also, there are counseling programs that will offer help to adolescents that are already sunk into the “Drunkorexic” trap.  Whether you have issues with binge drinking, anorexia, bulimia, or a combination, help is available.  Most adolescents will not admit to themselves that they have a problem.  It often takes the help of a friend or parent to get them the help they need.

Doorways offers many treatment options for those who are dealing with eating and alcohol disorders.  Counseling is typically needed to overcome these disorders and when you choose Doorways as your treatment provider, you will be able to get the help that you need in a faith-based setting.  This is definitely great news for those that are dealing with “Drunkorexia.  “


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