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Drunkorexia: going by a different name

Drunkorexia is the act of deliberately minimalizing caloric intake throughout the day so an individual can drink excess amounts of alcohol later in the night.

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, “nearly 50 percent of individuals with an eating disorder are also abusing drugs and/or alcohol, a rate five times greater that what is seen in the general population.” Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are dangerous on their own; adding an already deadly substance — alcohol — makes drunkorexia all the more dangerous.

Some intentions behind this eating disorder include getting drunk faster, reducing the amount of money being spent on alcohol, and limiting nutritional calories to make room for the empty calories found in alcohol, which is most common among females trying to avoid the ‘Freshman 15.’

“Nearly 50 percent of individuals with an eating disorder are also abusing drugs and/or alcohol”

-National Eating Disorder Association

TWU has several health resources available for students: Student Health Services, Health Promotions and the Counseling Center. Assistant Director of Health Promotion Sonia Redwine said: “Health Promotion and peer educators, PATH, provide information on responsible drinking behaviors and bystander intervention to learn how to help if you are concerned about a peer.” In addition to the information available through Health Promotions, Student Health Services and the Counseling Center are good physical and mental health resources for TWU students who are experiencing symptoms of alcohol misuse or eating disorders.

In addition to campus resources, there is an Eating Recovery Center close to the TWU Dallas campus. Medical Director at Eating Recovery Center Dallas, Dr. Stephanie Setliff said: “Drinking is such a socially accepted thing to do and it is an immediate release from anxiety… A lot of people are afraid of gaining weight while they are in college and they start to manage their food to meet where their alcohol is coming in.”

Setliff explained the Eating Recovery Center offers a unique treatment approach that provides the full spectrum of care for adult and adolescent patients at every stage of eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, drunkorexia and other nonspecified eating disorders. Free consultations from master-level clinicians are also available for patients through their website.

If you think you or a friend are suffering from drunkorexia or another type of eating disorder, find more information about the Eating Recovery Center  or Student Health Services 

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