We’re all familiar with the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia. However, did you know they can occur simultaneously with addiction? Drunkorexia is the non-medical term that describes this behavior, and if you suspect your loved one has addiction, being able to identify it helps you choose the best treatment.
What Drunkorexia Looks Like
You can’t classify drunkorexia as a medical disease like alcohol addiction. This is because drunkorexia is a complex pattern of drinking behaviors that include elements of anorexia and bulimia. People who engage in the practice restrict food intake in order to binge drink. Thus, severely cutting back on necessary calories.
Drinking on an empty stomach makes you more intoxicated at a faster rate. Most people who exhibit signs of drunkorexia know that drinking in excess results in higher calorie intake. Thus, they’ll severely restrict their eating habits in order to drink heavily without weight gain. Alternately, they may binge eat after a night of drinking and then purge. Likewise, they may excessively exercise without eating the following day.
Because alcohol has “empty calories” with no nutritional value, constantly drinking while cutting back on food is extremely unhealthy. Unfortunately, this leads to further complications.
Consequences for Those at Risk
Anyone can develop these behaviors, but college students seem to be at higher risk. Nearly a third of college students admit to the practice, according to a recent study, while both men and women equally take part.
It’s inevitable that college students will always party. However, an overwhelming majority of them say they binge-drink at least once a month.
It may not be a medical condition or disease, but nonetheless, drunkorexia has many physical and psychological consequences including:
- Lowered inhibitions, which may result in unsafe sex
- Increased risk of chronic disease development
- Alcohol poisoning
- Higher risk of developing an eating disorder
- Increased risk of alcohol-related brain damage
- Higher risk of developing an alcohol addiction
Overall, drunkorexia is a behavior, so medical professionals can’t diagnose it. Unfortunately, there isn’t a specific treatment method for it. However, because many people engaging in this behavior are at higher risk for developing an addiction, dual diagnosis treatments help significantly.
How We Can Help
At Steps to Recovery in Levittown, PA we understand how badly you may want to fit in with peers, but engaging in unhealthy, risky behavior isn’t the answer. If you or someone you love is struggling with dependency, let us help you begin the recovery process.
Whether it’s drunkorexia, alcohol addiction or a form of substance abuse, our facility provides a small, intimate environment where you can feel safe and comfortable. We keep our staff-to-client ratio at 3-1, so you’ll have plenty of advocates around the corner.
We’ll work closely with you during the pre-admissions process to ensure we design a customizable treatment plan addressing your individual needs. We believe in honest, compassionate care to make your recovery our highest priority.
Our recovery services include:
- Men’s and women’s addiction rehab
- Partial hospitalization program
- Intensive outpatient treatment
- Sober living program
- Group and family therapy
Don’t let drunkorexia control your life. Take the first step to recovery and call us today: 267.719.8528.