Dangers of “Drunkorexia”

drunkorexia“Drunkorexia” — a combination of “drunk” and “anorexia” — continues to be a big trend among nearly a third of college kids, both male and females. The practice refers to the behaviors of drinkers who skip meals or exercise intensely to offset calories from a heavy night of drinking, or to enhance the high from drinking. In extreme cases, the behaviors may be related to bulimia or anorexia, and the alcohol is used to make purging easier or to cope with eating anxieties.

The combination of disordered eating and binge drinking can have some serious short- and long-term physical and psychological health consequences. Drinking on an empty stomach raises a person’s blood alcohol level quickly, often at dangerous speeds. The result: higher rates of blackouts, alcohol poisoning and alcohol-related injury and violence.

Drunkorexia also has an adverse effect on hydration and the body’s ability to retain minerals and nutrients.  Vitamin deficiency (especially thiamine) is one major concern because it can lead to nerve and brain damage. Because of the way women’s bodies process alcohol, young females are more susceptible to these harmful consequences than male adolescents.

Other negative effects of drunkorexia include a higher risk of:

  • Short- and long-term cognitive problems, including difficulty concentrating, studying and making decisions
  • Serious eating disorders
  • Substance use disorders
  • Unprotected sex
  • Damage to the liver, stomach and heart

Alcohol Abuse and Eating Disorders
Studies reveal that individuals with eating disorders are up to five times as likely as those without eating disorders to develop substance use disorders – and it works the other way, too. Abusing alcohol or drugs also increases your chance of developing an eating disorder. At Synergy, we treat both conditions, providing clients with a personalized treatment regimen that addresses the psychological disorder and the chemical dependency simultaneously. To learn more, call today: 888-267-8070.

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