Dangerous Drinking Trend in Young Adults: Drunkorexia

posted by Blog Team August 18, 2016 0 comments
Dangerous Drinking Trend in Young Adults: Drunkorexia

Drunkorexia is a term to describe how some people – often university students – avoid food in favor of alcohol. They’re counting calories to maintain weight, but in the wrong way.

Skipping meals before binge drinking can have a dangerous impact on health. Although alcohol contains calories, they’re generally empty calories which don’t provide nutritional value. Drinking on an empty stomach can make a person drunk more quickly. It can also lead to massive problems later in life such as ulcers, liver damage, and cancer.

It’s becoming more prolific among both men and women. A 2016 study from the UK found that 40% of 25 to 34-year-olds skip food to “save the calories for drinking.” 43 percent of men and 35 percent of women have fallen victim to this behavior.

41 percent of the subjects said they ate healthy to look good, not necessarily to be healthy themselves. A South Australian study of 136 women between the ages of 18 and 25 had similar results. The study, also for 2016, found that over half of the women frequently engaged in extreme weight control behaviors. 37.5 percent skipped meals before an event which involved drinking.

At one point Drunkorexia was thought to be a myth, based purely on anecdotal evidence. Two contributing factors are thought to be body image issues and peer pressure to drink large amounts of alcohol.

Eating disorders used to be primarily attributed to women, but men are a fast-growing high-risk group too. A 2011 study of the United States estimated that 30 million people suffer from – or have suffered from – a clinically significant eating disorder, including 20 million women.

The numbers have risen over the years. Over a third of men and women reportedly worry about their appearance more than they do about their health, family, relationships, or professional success.

The Amy Winehouse Foundation is set to open a recovery house for women in east London. Named Amy’s Place, the home has 12 self-contained apartments to help women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. The house will be a joint effort between the foundation and Centra Care and Support. Centra is part of Circle Housing, one of London’s 15 largest housing associations. These associations say that together, they provide homes for 10 percent of Londoners.

Amy’s House will accommodate up to 16 women, focusing on those aged 18 to 30. Residents will reportedly come to the home after already going through a treatment program, arriving sober. After settling in, they will take part in a program spanning 3 months, and will be allowed to stay in the recovery home for up to 2 years. Some studies show that women have a greater chance to relapse without support established. The special project director of the Amy Winehouse Foundation, Dominic Ruffy, lamented a lack of female-specific addiction centers. He said he spoke with women currently at recovery houses and addiction centers, finding that some had no desire to move to mixed sex centers. They feared that issues could arise related to codependency and abuse.

Amy Winehouse passed away in late July 2011 from alcohol poisoning. Her family set up the foundation later that year, on what would’ve been her twenty-eighth birthday. Despite increased knowledge about substance abuse, and increased efforts to fight it, drug use has not decreased as expected. A growing body of research has led to more recovery homes, part of the effort to decrease relapse rates. Drug-free housing in low crime neighborhoods is thought to be a big step toward supporting recovery and risking avoidance. Amy’s House will open in late August.