Addiction comes in many shapes and forms. For some people, alcohol or drug dependence involves co-occurring conditions like depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD or eating disorders. Common to young people in college is one form of co-occurring conditions called drunkorexia. This combined nutritional deficit with alcohol dependence is very dangerous, even deadly, and requires focused drunkorexia treatment.
What is Drunkorexia?
Drunkorexia is not a medical term. It’s actually the colloquial name used to describe combined alcohol dependence with an eating disorder. These eating disorders that frequently appear along with alcohol use disorder include bulimia or anorexia. For people suffering this condition of comorbidity, feeling pressured to stay thin contributes to their alcohol abuse.
Drunkorexia commonly occurs in college-aged women, those most at risk for binge drinking with eating disorders. Women at these ages of 18 to 25 often feel immense pressure to stay very thin and party with friends. Partying usually involves campus parties, bar hopping and even “pre-gaming” by drinking before going out on the town.
Why People Fall Victim to Drinking and Dieting
As said before, drinking and dieting in college-aged women is a dangerous form of alcohol dependence. Females in this age group often skip meals so they can enjoy the calories of heavy drinking and the feelings they get from alcohol. For some people, this is a conscious decision at first. But soon, skipping meals and drinking to stop hunger pangs becomes a cycle that is hard to break.
Making the condition worse is reinforcement these women gain from others around them. Being told they look good and have lost weight just drives the cycle farther. In turn, serious health problems start to occur. The only way to stop this dangerous obsession is through drunkorexia treatment.
Health Risks of Combining Drinking with Dieting
Eating disorders pose a great health risk on their own. The same is true of binge drinking. But combined, these two disorders create major risks and health problems.
Anorexia is a severe psychological disorder causing excessive focus on food and dieting. In anorexia, you develop a distorted view of your body and self-image. To lose weight, you choose to starve yourself instead of following a healthy diet plan. This elective starvation causes many side effects, including:
- Extreme weight loss
- Dizziness and fatigue
- Brittle hair and nails
- Low blood pressure and irregular heart rate
- Abnormal blood counts and elevated liver enzymes
Bulimia is another eating disorder often accompanying heavy drinking. Bulimia is not starvation through avoiding eating. Instead, you starve because you binge on foods you enjoy, then purge them from your system through vomiting or use of a laxative. The goal for people with bulimia is to avoid taking in calories but to keep eating large quantities of unhealthy foods.
Bulimia, like anorexia, causes many side effects. These effects include bloating, dehydration, fainting, dry skin, fatigue, and seizures. Other effects are abnormal bowel functioning, muscle cramping, and tooth decay.
When you add alcohol abuse to the “dieting” equation, you suffer drunkorexia. This means even more side effects than just with anorexia or bulimia. In fact, replacing food with alcohol puts you at greater risk for a very high blood alcohol concentration, blackouts, and alcohol poisoning.
Hope for Healing through Drunkorexia Treatment in North Carolina
In Asheville, North Carolina, Red Oak Recovery provides drunkorexia treatment. This treatment takes shape through gender-specific rehab programs.
Addiction treatment programs and drunkorexia treatment at Red Oak Recovery include:
- Men’s and women’s campuses 45 miles apart
- Hybrid programs with an outdoor wilderness focus
- Eco-therapy, experiential therapy, clinical treatment, and organic therapies
- Gardening and other holistic methods
- Dual diagnosis program
- Alumni programs
For yourself or a loved one suffering an eating disorder with alcohol abuse, it is important to gain drunkorexia treatment soon. The longer you wait, the deadlier this combined condition becomes. Contact Red Oak Recovery in Asheville, NC now at 828.382.9699.