INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The pressure of fitting in met with the pressure of staying fit is causing many college students to turn to a dangerous trend called Drunkorexia.
Drunkorexia means starving yourself or throwing up to make room for alcohol in an effort to get drunk faster and cut calories at the same time.
As FOX40 reports, a recent study from the University of Houston found 8 out of every 10 college students surveyed admitted to cutting calories before a night of heavy drinking.
"That is very surprising. I mean that number is astronomical," said Eric Teske, Assistant Director of Substance Abuse Prevention at IUPUI.
Teske said he's heard stories of students behaving this way, but these numbers surprised him especially considering how unhealthy the trend is.
"The liver is already working overtime to try to process the alcohol and then you’re limiting the resources available because you don’t have other nutrients available."
But preaching that to young people doesn't always work and Teske knows that. Which is why IUPUI also uses a social approach. The school trains a chosen group of students to be peer educators.
"An education only approach only gets you so far," said Teske. "We get the information out there but then we let the students really apply sort of that positive social pressure to say 'Maybe this isn’t’ what we need to be doing. Can we think about this from a different point of view?' without feeling like they’re being lectured at."
Teske knows he can't stop the partying, but he can help students make better choices in a world of newfound freedom and so much pressure.
"There’s so much out there on social media and a lot of it is photo-shopped anyways! So there’s this unrealistic standard, this pressure to conform to this sort of ideal image. That in combination with stress and easy access to the substances, maybe a permissive environment that turns a blind eye and justifies it as being just part of the college experience, all that adds up to be kind of the perfect storm."