‘Drunkorexia' more common than thought on college campuses

Posted at 7:53 PM, Jul 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-13 21:53:41-04

DENVER, Colo. -- Heavy drinking on college campuses is nothing new, but new numbers show binge drinking in combination with possible eating disorders is more popular than thought, and it could be deadly.

This problem is called called "drunkorexia", and more than 80 percent of college students polled admit to it.

This means skipping a meal, inducing vomiting or using a laxative so they can drink more alcohol.

That’s according to a new study of 1,200 University of Houston students who admitted to participating in the risky behavior.

Specialist say this impulse can go on for months before turning into an eating or alcohol disorder.

The study shows some people skip meals all day to get drunk faster, but another reason could be to watch calories.

“They can be dehydrated before they even start drinking, and the drinking can exacerbate that,” said Eating Disorder and Addiction Specialist Dr. Dorie McCubbrey. ". And then also they can be electrolyte imbalanced and that combination can actually cause heart attacks suddenly."

The study found males and females are just as likely to be drunkorexic.

Specialists say if you think you suffer from the disorder it’s best to tell someone you trust, and seek peer and professional support.

Researchers say binge-drinking can be stress induced, but college students aren’t seeing the danger associated with it because it’s more socially acceptable among their peers.