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What is Drunkorexia and Why is it Risky?

What is Drunkorexia and Why is it Risky?

College students tend to drink more than non-college peers, which can lead to challenges with addiction. Drinking responsibly is not seen as college kids’ strong suits as it is seen as a time of freedom and opportunity to ‘live it up’ while away from family (and prying eyes). One type of recent behavior, coined ‘drunkorexia,’ has hit the college party scene. It refers to restricting calories or not eating at all to prevent weight gain from calories in alcohol. While research has documented the problem, a new study looks at what motivates students to drink this way and put themselves at risk.

Drunkorexia Challenge

The problem with drunkorexia is not just one for female students in college (or anywhere, really). Concern over gaining extra pounds and changing one’s appearance is seen in both men and women, alike. Men actually expressed more drunkorexia motives according to a new research study. Men feel social pressure to look a certain way and still drink in college. There is a conformity men want to do, while keeping friends and being seen as a fun guy. Some other reasons people cut food out of their diet in favor of drinking:

  • Friends pressuring each other to restrict eating
  • Helps enjoy the party
  • Drink without feeling left out
  • To be liked
  • Because its fun
  • Because it’s fun

Why Skipping Meals is Bad

Restricting food before drinking is generally a bad idea, no matter how old a person is, due to the nature of alcohol. Food slows the absorption of alcohol. Blood alcohol levels don’t rise as fast or high when a person eats prior to drinking. Restriction of food may raise the likelihood of alcohol poisoning, risky behaviors, injuries, and blackouts. Not having food in a person’s body can get them drunk faster, which may cause that person to engage in risky or dangerous behaviors.

Not only is it a bad idea not to eat before drinking, it can also result in feeling more full on alcohol calories, not food, which deprives the body of necessary nutrients to sustain overall health. Drinking more than three drinks a day for women and more than seven per week (four for men per day or 14 a week for men) can lead to addictive behaviors, another risk in and of itself.

Serenity Oaks provides an intensive 5 week program to support your sobriety and recovery from addiction. We aim to provide a space where you can find out how and why you have struggled with addiction. Our therapeutic and medical support are just one of the tools we provide to help set you up for success in recovery. Call us to find out how we can help you get started: 844-720-6847.  

Serenity Oaks Wellness Center