A recent article on CBS News highlighted an unsettling trend, and more danger for today’s college students. We all know that binge drinking (5+ drinks in two hours for men, 4+ drinks in 2 hours for women) has long been an issue on college campuses across the country. Alcohol poisoning, hospitalization, arrests, and risky decision making are all too common. Further, an astonishing 44% of all college students have been classified as binge-drinkers consistently for the past 10 years. But what is Drunkorexia?
Drunkorexia refers to unhealthy actions many college students are taking to avoid alcohol-related weight gain. These actions include everything from skipping meals, to exercising heavily before drinking alcohol, to taking laxatives or diuretics, even inducing vomiting after drinking. This disorder is a terrifying hybrid between eating disorders and alcoholism- two conditions that already co-occur in many individuals.
How Prevalent is Drunkorexia?
A large survey of college students cited in the article on CBSnews.com found that over 80% of them had engaged in at least one of these behaviors in the preceding few months. Student athletes and members of Greek organizations were found to be particularly at risk for Drunkorexia-related behaviors. These behaviors were also found to be closely linked with alcoholic-like tendencies, such as binge drinking and suffering negative alcohol-related consequences.
Avoiding Binge Drinking and Drunkorexia
Depending on one’s genetic predisposition and life experiences, it can be difficult to prevent or even predict these conditions. However, maintaining good social support can be of great assistance. Also, most colleges and universities have counseling and substance abuse resources on campus– if you suspect that your drinking behavior is abnormal, or are beginning to suffer consequences, don’t wait until it is too late- seek help as soon as possible. There are many college students that don’t drink and are still having a fun college experience- see what your campus has to offer in terms of groups and support.
Getting Help for Binge-Drinking
If you or a loved one suspect that binge-drinking has already become a problem, please contact an addiction professional today. Serenity Acres has different treatment programs available that can help stop binge-drinking, and prevent a future in alcoholism. Call 1-800-203-2024 for a free, confidential assessment.