Drunkorexia: A common problem among adolescents

Drunkorexia: A common problem among adolescents

Once an adolescent leaves home for college, he or she is exposed to new challenges both positive and negative. Though most experiences help young adults grow and mature. Certain habits and behavior, if inculcated, can ruin their lives, such as indulging in risky behavior and victimization, risky sexual behavior, as well as addiction to illicit substances. Alcohol abuse among the youth is a serious public health crisis in the United States. Every year, a number of students succumb to alcoholic overdoses and many others experience lifelong problems associated with drinking.

Studies have shown that drinking on college campuses is mostly done illegally, behind closed doors and without any adult moderation. Binge drinking is common among college goers, especially during spring break. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 58 percent of college students in the age group of 18–22 years drank alcohol in a month prior to the survey, as compared with 48.2 percent of other people of the same age.

Today, a lot of teens indulge in self-imposed starvation, along with binge eating/purging, in order to compensate for the calories that they accumulate during binge drinking. Many youngsters prefer to skip meals so that they do not put on weight after a drinking event.

Reducing calorific intake through unhealthy practices

Drinking patterns in students are often uncontrolled. Therefore, the risk of developing alcohol-related problems is far greater among adolescents. Most students in colleges are involved in faulty drinking practices such as “drunkorexia,” a severe form of eating disorder. Prior studies have identified the following two possible reasons for engaging in unhealthy practices of limiting calorie intake:

  • Increase the buzz induced by alcohol
  • Balance increased calories of alcohol/beer through “in bulimic-type or diet/exercising/calorie/restricted eating behaviors

The habit of diet restriction is considered to be unhealthy even in normal circumstances, and when someone follows a restricted diet plan to accommodate heavy alcohol use, the situation can be alarming. A drunkorexic individual not only has higher chances of getting drunk sooner but also exposes himself or herself to risky outcomes, including alcohol-related fatalities.

A 2016 study presented at the 39th Annual Research Society on Alcoholism in New Orleans suggested that students involved in drunkorexic behavior predispose themselves to innumerable health issues. Elucidating on the gender disparity with regards to drunkorexia, Dipali V. Rinker, a research assistant in the department of psychology at the University of Houston, said, “While it is clear that college women who drink more are more likely than men to engage in bulimic-type behaviors, and with greater frequency, and to experience more alcohol-related problems as a result of these behaviors, there were no gender differences for engaging in drunkorexia to increase the effects of alcohol or engaging in bulimic-type behaviors to compensate for alcohol-related calories”.

Detox and recovery

Alcohol is a harmful substance that puts the life of an adolescent at a high risk. Treatment for teenagers, however, should not be based on the one-size-fits-all programs. It has been found that therapies are generally not oriented for the youth, instead, they are more adult-centric. Adolescent-treatment interventions should necessarily be directed toward their age and consist of alternative forums that are technology oriented and involve social marketing approaches. Instead of shying away from holding a conversation with children regarding the dangers of alcohol abuse, it is essential for parents to openly talk about alcoholism with the children and acquaint them with its harmful effects.

It is important to seek medical help and undergo detoxification in case somebody is suffering from addiction to substances. Detoxification is the first step to recovery as it cleanses the unwanted toxins from the body. If you would like to know about the best detox programs offered by the drug treatment centers in California, the California Detox Helpline can assist you. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-780-2495 or chat online with our treatment advisors who would be happy to assist you with a complete information about various detox facilities near you.

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