Drunkorexia: Teen and Underage Drinking that is Dangerous and Deadly

At first, “drunkorexia” may sound like kind of a funny word, jokingly made up to describe a situation in which college students and others forgo food in order to be able to afford more alcohol and feel higher effects of alcohol on an empty stomach. But what some may brush off as crazy college-kid behavior is actually a serious problem that can have highly damaging consequences both in long- and short-term health.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped college students from engaging in this unhealthy trend, and a study at the University of Missouri-Columbia indicated that one in six students had practiced drunkorexia within the last year. Typically, drunkorexia is done by women; the study showed that three out of four drunkorexia respondents were female.

Students may not realize that drunkorexia is incredibly damaging to their health, but the fact remains that the practice puts them at risk for problems like sexually transmitted diseases, malnutrition, and even seizures and comas. Specifically, the University of Missouri study indicates that drunkorexia may lead to:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • HIV
  • Drunk driving
  • Injury risk
  • Perpetrating or being a victim of sexual assault
  • Passing out
  • Malnutrition
  • Cognitive disabilities
  • Heart problems
  • Seizures
  • Comas
  • Organ failures

All of the possible effects are disturbing, but perhaps the most worrisome are heart problems and cognitive disabilities that can stem from drunkorexia-induced malnutrition. STDs, injury, or sexual assault are without a doubt difficult to bounce back from, but malnutrition-induced heart problems and cognitive disabilities are something you just can’t take back. Cognitive problems are especially disturbing for college students, as they can result in “difficulty concentrating, studying, and making decisions.” These are long-term health issues brought on by drunkorexia that can follow a college student for the rest of her life. That is, assuming that the student survives past the possibility of seizures, comas, and organ failure.

So it seems that a practice that may be approached lightheartedly is in fact a very serious problem that doesn’t just stop with fun (and possible weight loss) one night. Used as a regular practice, drunkorexia can scar you for life and even end in death. And although the long-term effects are certainly frightening, the short-term possibilities of drunkorexia aren’t incredibly easy hurdles to get over, either. Just one night of drunkorexia can have serious consequences, with higher levels of intoxication and starvation putting students at risk for dangerous behavior.

At high levels of intoxication, students lose the ability to make good decisions, which can lead to dangerous situations like having unprotected sex, or even being involved in a rape, driving drunk, and becoming injured as a result of stunts, fights, or simply an inability to function properly. In addition to these risks, just one night of intense drinking on an empty stomach can lead to blackouts, hospitalization, and death from alcohol poisoning.

Clearly, drunkorexia has serious and lasting consequences, even for students who aren’t repeat offenders.

Source:  Online College

Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

Home 2 Homeroom: A Wake Up Call for Parents

Parenting teens is a challenge today.

Schools and parents today need to work together to help prevent teen drug use.

Fast Facts: Preventing Teen OTC Cough Medicine Abuse – From Home to Homeroom

A Wake Up Call for Parents

  • Thirty-three percent of American high school teens know someone who has abused cough medicine, a wake up call for those parents who think that their teen is not affected or being exposed to the issue.
  • Six percent of high school teens admit to abusing cough medicine containing dextromethorphan, or DXM, to get high in the past year.

Cough Medicine Abuse Does Not Happen By Accident

  • While safe and effective when taken as directed, teens looking to get high from cough medicine take excessive amounts, sometimes 25 to 50 times the recommended dosage. This translates to multiple bottles or packages of medicine at one time.
  • Teens often abuse cough medicines with other prescription drugs, illicit drugs, or alcohol.
  • Even the best kid in the world doesn’t have the same ability as adults to assess risk because the part of their brain that processes risk, the frontal cortex, doesn’t finish developing until their mid 20s.

Parents Have the Power to Keep Teens Drug-free

  • Research shows that kids who learn a lot from their parents about the risk of drug abuse are up to half as likely to use.
  • Parents are not alone in their fight to prevent medicine abuse; reaching out to the school nurse can help parents learn more about the issue and access local resources.
  • Parents can learn more about the Home to Homeroom campaign by logging onto www.StopMedicineAbuse.org

Parents can interact and help raise awareness by joining online communities including:

Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

It’s not your parent’s pot

Do you suspect your teen is using drugs?  Are you saying – it is only pot?  All kids experiment?  Really?  Sure, maybe in the sixty’s – but do you know what is on the streets today?  Your denial could literally lead to the death of your child.  Don’t have your head in the sand – be in the know.

  • Daily Marijuana use increased among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders from 2009 to 2010. Among 12th graders it was at its highest point since the early 1980s at 6.1%. This year, perceived risk of regular marijuana use also declined among 10th and 12th graders suggesting future trends in use may continue upward.
  • In addition, most measures of marijuana use increased among 8th graders between 2009 and 2010 (past year, past month, and daily), paralleling softening attitudes for the last 2 years about the risk of using marijuana.
  •  Marijuana use is now ahead of cigarette smoking on some measures (due to decreases in smoking and recent increases in marijuana use). In 2010, 21.4 percent of high school seniors used marijuana in the past 30 days, while 19.2 percent smoked cigarettes.
  •  Steady declines in cigarette smoking appear to have stalled in all three grades after several years of improvement on most measures.
  •  After marijuana, prescription and over-the-counter medications account for most of the top drugs abused by 12th graders in the past year. Among 12th graders, past year nonmedical use of Vicodin decreased from 9.7% to 8%. However, past year nonmedical use of OxyContin remains unchanged across the three grades and has increased in 10th graders over the past 5 years. Moreover, past-year nonmedical use of Adderall and over-the-counter cough and cold medicines among 12th graders remains high at 6.5% and 6.6%, respectively.
  •  After several years of decline, current and past year use of Ecstasy has risen among 8th and 10th graders. From 2009 to 2010, lifetime use of ecstasy among 8th graders increased from 2.2% to 3.3%, past year use from 1.3% to 2.4%, and current use 0.6% to 1.1%. This follows declines in perceived risk associated with MDMA use seen over the past several years.
  •  Alcohol use has continued to decline among high school seniors with past-month use falling from 43.5% to 41.2% and alcohol binge drinking (defined as 5 or more drinks in a row in the past 2 weeks) declining from 25.2% to 23.2%. Declines were also observed for all measures among 12th graders reporting the use of flavored alcoholic beverages. Past-year use fell from 53.4% to 47.9%.

Need help?  Contact – www.HelpYourTeens.com today.

Source:  NIDA

Uppers, downers, rits, crosses, hearts, toots – What does it all mean to your teen?

From marijuana to heroin. It's that easy - and fast!

October 31st through November 6th is National Drug Facts Week.

This is an opportunity to shatter the myths about drug and substance abuse as well as become an educated parent and build a stronger drug-free community.

Stimulants are a common drug of choice for many teens, even college students.

What Are They?

Stimulants are a class of drugs that elevate mood, increase feelings of well-being, and increase energy and alertness.

What Are the Common Street Names?

Cocaine is generally sold on the street as a fine, white, crystalline powder, known as “coke,” “C,“ “snow,” “flake,“ “blow,” “bump,“ “candy,“ “Charlie,” “rock,” and “toot.” “Crack,” the street name for the smokeable form of cocaine, got its name from the crackling sound made when it’s smoked. A “speedball” is cocaine or crack combined with heroin, or crack and heroin smoked together.

Methamphetamine is commonly known as “speed,” “meth,” “chalk,” and “tina.” In its smokeable form, it’s often called “ice,” “crystal,” “crank,” “glass,” “fire,” and “go fast.”

Street names for amphetamines include “speed,” “bennies,” “black beauties,” “crosses,” “hearts,” “LA turnaround,” “truck drivers,” and “uppers.”

Street names for methylphenidate include “rits,” “vitamin R,” and “west coast.”

How Are They Abused?

Stimulants are abused in several ways, depending on the drug. They can be:

  • Swallowed in pill form.
  • Snorted in powder form through the nostrils, where the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues.
  • Injected, using a needle and syringe, to release the drug directly into a vein.
  • Heated in crystal form and smoked (inhaled into the lungs).

Injecting or smoking a stimulant produces a rapid high—or rush—because the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream quickly, intensifying its effects. Snorting or swallowing stimulants produces a high that is less intense but lasts longer.

Powder cocaine is usually snorted or injected (also called “mainlining”), or it can be rubbed onto mucous tissues, such as the gums. Street dealers generally dilute cocaine with other substances (such as cornstarch, talcum powder, or sugar), with active drugs (such as procaine, a chemical that produces local anesthesia), or with other stimulants (such as amphetamines). Crack cocaine is often smoked in a glass pipe.

Methamphetamine is swallowed, snorted, injected, or smoked. “Ice,” a smokeable form of methamphetamine, is a large, usually clear crystal of high purity that is smoked, like crack, in a glass pipe.

Amphetamines and methylphenidate are usually swallowed in pill form.

How Many Teens Use Them?

In 2010, a NIDA-funded study reported that the following percentages of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders had abused these drugs at least once in the past year:

  • Powder cocaine: 1.3 percent of 8th graders, 1.9 percent of 10th graders, and 2.6 percent of 12th graders
  • Crack cocaine: 1.0 percent of 8th graders, 1.0 percent of 10th graders, and 1.4 percent of 12th graders
  • Methamphetamine: 1.2 percent of 8th graders, 1.6 percent of 10th graders, and 1.0 percent of 12th graders
  • Amphetamines: 3.9 percent of 8th graders, 7.6 percent of 10th graders, and 7.4 percent of 12th graders
  • Nonmedical use of Ritalin: 1.5 percent of 8th graders, 2.7 percent of 10th graders, and 2.7 percent of 12th graders
  • Nonmedical use of Adderall: 2.3 percent of 8th graders, 5.3 percent of 10th graders, and 6.5 percent of 12th graders

Do you have a teen that you suspect is using drugs? Have you exhausted all your local resources? Take the time to learn about residential therapy, visit www.HelpYourTeens.com. Each teen and family are unique, there are many teen help programs, knowing how to locate the one best for you can be a challenge, however Parents’ Universal Resource Experts in Broward County, can help, starting with a free consultation.

Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.