Recent studies show that roughly 60% of students drink while in college. While some of these students drink casually or socially, the majority of those in this statistic partake in binge drinking. Unfortunately, regular binge drinking at a young age can quickly lead to alcohol addiction.
However, if your college student is fighting addiction, it may not be related to alcohol. Sadly, colleges provide the perfect atmosphere for young adults to experiment with illegal and dangerous substances. There’s a serious lack of supervision and a tremendous amount of peer pressure.
Fortunately, if you notice the signs of drug abuse and alcohol abuse early, you have a strong chance of preventing your college student from developing an addiction. We’re here to help. Keep reading for the top seven signs your college student is fighting addiction.
1. Your Child Has Become Distant or Reclusive
One of the most immediate signs your child might be experiencing college drug addiction is if they start distancing themselves from you. It may be subtle at first. For example, they may only call a few times a month, whereas they used to call a few times a week.
Understand, as your child gains confidence, they will naturally pull away. However, you should be able to recognize the difference between an organic shift and a forced break-away.
When young adults engage in illegal or frowned-upon activities, they will feel guilty and ashamed, especially with their parents. Their solution will be to avoid confrontation with you at all costs, even if you don’t suspect anything.
2. Their Grades Are Starting to Slip
Another obvious sign your child is fighting addiction is if their grades start to drop inexplicably. You should know your child’s academic work ethic and what’s normal based on their high school performance.
Keep in mind that colleges have a lot of harmless distractions that can result in lower grades. However, sudden and unexplained drops are a sign of drug abuse or alcohol abuse. If their grades drop drastically, it could be because they’re staying out partying, are unfocused, or are skipping classes.
3. The Keep Asking You for More Money
Everyone knows that funds are tight for college students. Unless they go the extra mile and work a part-time job, most college students get a small stipend of cash each month from their parents.
A college student addict will seem to always want or “need” more money. If your child is asking for more money each week, it could be because they’re spending their regular allowance on drugs or alcohol.
Confront them and ask them where all of the money is being spent. Talking to your child about addiction can be difficult. However, it may be necessary to keep them from continuing down a bad path.
They may resent you for cutting them off, but you can’t keep giving them money to feed their addiction.
4. Your Child Seems to Be Haning Out With the Wrong Crowd
Roughly 72% of Americans have at least one social media account. It’s where we go to find news, talk to friends, post about our lives, and more. Assuming you and your child have an account, you can use social media to keep an eye on their behavior.
Watch as their online friends post comments or tag them in posts or photos. You will be able to get a good idea of who your child is hanging out with at school. Many young adults don’t think twice about what they post, which could include evidence or signs of alcohol abuse or drug abuse.
5. They Seem Depressed or Anxious
While many people use drugs and alcohol as a form of escapism to numb the pain of depression or emotional distress, these substances often exacerbate those feelings. The same result can occur even when using drugs and alcohol recreationally. These substances are full of mood-altering chemicals and toxins.
Moreover, they leave the user feeling empty and depleted after the “high” or intoxication is gone. Finally, most people struggle with feelings of guilt and shame while fighting addiction, which only increases the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
If your child seems to be going through a depression or anxiety, it might be a sign that they are experimenting with addictive substances. This is especially suspect if feelings of depression and anxiety are out of character for your child.
6. Your Child Has Sudden Mood Swings
As noted above, drugs and alcohol can significantly alter someone’s mood. While the most extreme differences are noticeable while they’re intoxicated, addiction can slowly ebb away at someone’s natural demeanor.
A person fighting addiction can experience drastic, and sometimes violent mood swings. They may seem easily annoyed or constantly agitated.
A child going through college drug addiction will also be incredibly defensive about their situation. If asked about their drug abuse, they’ll deny hard evidence or become confrontational.
Try to talk to your child about treatment programs geared specifically toward young adults. These programs recognize the specific needs of adolescents rather than treating them the same way the would a 50-year-old addict.
7. They Continue to Skip Classes
Finally, a college student fighting addiction will have a lack of academic motivation. Whether they ignore their alarm because they’re sleeping off a hangover or decide to skip class to get high, their class attendance will start to suffer.
If you’re paying for their college, this can be incredibly frustrating. You’re paying for classes they’re not even attending. However, instead of reacting out of anger, try to approach them compassionately.
Many children lean towards drug abuse or alcohol abuse because they feel misunderstood. Approaching your child aggressively may exacerbate those feelings, pushing them farther into their addiction.
Do You Think Your Child is Fighting Addiction?
Is it possible your college student is fighting addiction? We know how scary this can be. It seems like their entire future is in jeopardy.
However, it’s important not to panic or react too strongly. Yes, this is a big deal, but the situation isn’t hopeless. Contact us today to learn more about the path to recovery for your child.