What Is the Drunkorexia Diet?

New research shows that 80% of college students who drink regularly are engaged in the dangerous combination of meal-skipping followed by binge-drinking, or other types of eating disorder behaviors in combination with alcohol abuse, which is sometimes referred to as the “Drunkorexia Diet.”  The University of Houston surveyed 1200 students, and found that an equal proportion of men and women engaged in this Drunkorexia Diet type of behavior – including fasting, excessive exercise, self-induced vomiting, and laxative abuse to “save calories for booze,” and to “get drunker, quicker.”

Dr. Dorie McCubbrey, an Addiction & Eating Disorder Specialist and the Owner & Clinical Director at Positive Pathways, was recently interviewed about the Drunkorexia Diet by The Denver Channel. “They can be dehydrated before they even start drinking, and the drinking can exacerbate that,” said Dr. Dorie, adding, “they may also be electrolyte imbalanced and that combination can actually cause heart attacks suddenly.” This is why the Drunkorexia Diet can also be called “The Deadly Diet.”

Drunkorexia Keynote Presentation
Tuesday, January 31 – 2017

43rd Annual Winter Symposium
Colorado Springs, CO

Treatment Strategies for Co-Occurring Eating Disorders and Alcohol Use Disorders


Dr. Dorie McCubbrey, MSEd, PhD, LPC, CEDS  provided this clinical presentation with the following learning objectives:

1. Review recent research regarding “drunkorexia” and describe the specific DSM-5 behaviors indicative of a co-occurring Eating Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder

2. Discuss an integrative treatment approach called Eating Disorder Intuitive Therapy (EDIT)™ featuring evidence-based practices

3. Evaluate EDIT™ treatment strategies using case studies of clients in recovery from co-occurring Eating Disorders and Alcohol Use Disorders



Drunkorexia Diet Recovery Resources:
How to Help Someone You Love

If you suspect that a friend, family member, co-worker or other acquaintance may be struggling with the deadly combination of alcohol abuse and eating disorders, what can you do to help? Here are some do’s and don’ts to consider:

  • DO approach the person you care about with some opening remarks about why you value your relationship with them, such as, “I hope you know how much I love doing fun activities with you!”

  • DON’T confront them with assumptions or accusations which could make them become defensive. Avoid direct statements like, “Clearly you have a problem…”

  • DO focus on specific behaviors which concern you, such as, “I’ve noticed that you never eat when we got out drinking, and you seem to be drinking more lately, and I’m worried about you.”

  • DON’T buy into their responses of denial or justification. They might say, “You worry too much,” or, “It’s no big deal.” They might push you away, stating, “Mind your own business!”

  • DO follow up with encouragement and resources, saying something like, “I really care about you, and hope you’ll look at these resources.” Then, hand them the SUPPORT GROUP FLYER (LEFT), QUIZ (BELOW LEFT), or the BLOG ARTICLE (BELOW CENTER), or the TIP SHEET (BELOW RIGHT) and/or text a link to this webpage.


“Drunkorexia” – it’s not a medical term… it’s used to describe the behavior of deliberately avoiding food intake and/or exercising excessively before drinking… self-induced vomiting after eating… or purging in the midst of an evening of heavy drinking (to allow for continued alcohol consumption). This is a very dangerous behavior… READ MORE

Eating Disorder & Addiction Specialist
“Dr. Dorie” McCubbrey, MSEd, PhD, LPC

Eating Disorder Intuitive Therapy (EDIT)™ is the approach for complete recovery from eating disorders and co-occurring alcohol abuse or other addictions, developed by “Dr. Dorie” McCubbrey, MSEd, PhD, LPC, CEDS. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling and a Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering – this unique combination of credentials allows her to address the complex psychological issues which underlie eating disorders and addiction, as well as physical issues including biochemistry, nutrition, intuitive eating, fitness and body image. Dr. Dorie has been a specialist in the treatment of eating disorders and addiction for more than 20 years, and has been training clinicians in her method since 2003. Dr. Dorie is the best-selling author of Dr. Dorie’s Don’t Diet Book (Positive Pathways Press, 1998) and How Much Does Your Soul Weigh (HarperCollins, 2003). Her interviews have appeared in magazines including Glamour, Shape, and Health, and she has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including The Denver Channel (ABC affiliate) and nationally on The Fox News Channel.

Question about Drunkorexia? Ask Dr. Dorie & Receive a Personal Reply

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