Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Teen Drinking: Drunkorexia

Between the expanding technology, learning about Internet safety, texting and cellphone use, bullying, drug use, huffing, inhalants, rainbow parties, choking game, learning the teen lingo etc.... Parents can add one more worry to their list of raising teenagers:


What is Drunkorexia?  It is the term used to describe a mixture of alcoholism, bulimia and anorexia.  Schools and universities are dealing with a new student issue and it is an concern for counselors and parents.
In 2008 the New York Times was one of the first times we heard about this issue that is becoming a trend. The Denver Post just ran a recent article, "Drunkorexia" act swaps food calories for alcohol.  ABC News Health also just posted Drunkorexia: Alcohol Mixes With Eating Disorders.

Health workers warn drunkorexia is a serious medical condition that can harm the body. It is also often coupled with other psychological disorders. Statistics suggest that 30% of 18-24 year olds skip food in order to drink more according to Diet-Blog.com.

What can you do if you suspect your teen is substituting alcohol for food?

Communication and education is the key to prevention.  However most parents know that talking to our teens can be difficult.  Getting them to actually listen is even harder.  But you can't stop talking about it - you can't stop sharing with them the harm it does to their health and body.

Drinking alcohol and body image is part of life for today's teenager. As the parent of a teenager you have a responsibility to educate your child in order to ensure that he or she has a healthy relationship with alcohol and self-confidence to feel good about how she looks. Get educated and get talking; don't let your child be another teen drinking statistic.

For more information, go to nationaleatingdisorders.org, or call the toll-free helpline, 800-931-2237.
For more information on your local services contact PACT in St. Augustine at 904-829-6261.
Be an educated parent, you will have healthier teens.