San Diego, CA (PRWEB) January 18, 2012
As many parents may know, high school can be a frightening and exhilarating time. Teens get their first taste of freedom as parents get to watch their sons and daughters go off to prove themselves in a demanding social environment. Responsible parents will warn about the dangers of drinking and exercising self-control, but that control can take a dangerous form in the shape of what is being called “drunkorexia.”
On one hand, some high school teens are forgoing food in order to stretch their alcohol budget. These teens want to drink because they feel compelled or may actually have a problem of some sort. Recent studies from the American Collage Health Association found that “31 percent of students met the criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse and 6 percent for a diagnosis of alcohol dependence in the past 12 months.” Not eating allows students to get drunk faster, further increasing the buzz they get from their budgets.
On the other hand, other high school teens are drinking and forgoing food for more physiological reasons. Studies show that 16% of students are combining an eating disorder with a drinking problem in an effort to lose more calories. Most of these students are women.
Aside from the obvious health concerns of binge drinking, mixing alcohol with malnutrition is a dangerous gamble. While both deprive the body of vital nutrients, combining alcohol and poor eating habits in teens is a recipe for disaster. The long-term and short-term effects include impaired cognitive abilities, which often result in lower high school academic performance and increased risk of some of the more dangerous results of high school alcohol abuse.
Alcohol abuse in high school leads to hundreds of thousands of injuries, sexual abuse, and impaired decisions. More disturbingly, there is an apparent link between alcohol addiction and abuse and suicide attempts. Combine alcohol with warped body image and the danger of teen suicide increases dramatically.
The phrase “a perfect storm” is often overused, but drunkorexia may be on its way to creating the perfect situation for teen problems to collide in the perfect way to lead to tragic conclusions. High school is a stressful time for teens. Yes, they have a freedom, but with that freedom comes an increase in responsibility. Almost 85% of students reported stress and more than 3 in 5 reported stress cases are so extreme that work was impossible. Women suffer more from this since almost a quarter believed their body image experiences were traumatic.
While drunkorexia is a relatively new trend, we can’t ignore its implications. Simply banning alcohol is not an issue. Alcohol use is a symptom of deeper problems, and drunkorexia is perhaps, unfortunately, the best evidence of this. Some high school students are actively drinking for social reasons. Others jump in because alcohol gives them another tool to practice their self-loathing.
Alone, eating disorders and alcohol abuse are scary enough. In Therapeutic Boarding Schools like Sunset Bay Academy, you will find programs designed to help both teens fight alcohol addiction and eating disorders. Sunset Bay Academy understands that it’s not enough to simply remove the symptoms. We must give parents and teens the tools to fight back these problems.
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