College Students Practice ‘Drunkorexia’ To Get Drunker

Craig Boudreau | Vice Reporter

A new study on alcohol use among college students has found that students often skip meals before drinking so they can get drunk quicker.

Dipali Rinker studied 1,184 college students and found that 80 percent practiced what has been dubbed “drunkorexia” in the past three months, VOA News reported Tuesday.

Drunkorexia involves either eating low-calorie meals or skipping meals for an entire day prior to drinking, as a means to get drunk quicker. Rinker says They do this not only to get drunk quicker, but to make the effects of alcohol more intense and to keep their weight down.

“There’s this sense of invincibility and the sense this is time in life in which it’s sort of okay … to push those boundaries a little bit,” Rinker told VOA News.

Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, George Koob, says that while the rate of college students who drink hasn’t gone up in recent years, the rate of drinking to the point of blackout has. While Koob nor the study makes note of it, the increase of blackout drinking could very well have something to do with drinking on an empty stomach.

A study done in 2012 by Dr. Reagan Weatherill at the University of California, San Diego said doing “shots or chugging beer, and doing it on an empty stomach, gets the alcohol into your bloodstream quickly,” which lends itself to blackouts.

In order to combat drunkorexia and binge drinking in college, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism released the College Alcohol Intervention Matrix, or CollegeAIM. CollegeAIM says things like campus-wide alcohol bans are not necessarily effective, and advocate more for things like education and increased taxes.

In a report from December 2015, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found “about 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries” each year.

“Parents of current or incoming students play a role in being involved in addressing alcohol related matters with their sons and daughters,” dean of students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ken Ballom, told VOA News.

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