10 Signs Your College Student Is Battling an Alcohol Addiction

May 7th, 2019

College is a time of many changes and new experiences for a young person. Some of the most infamous occurrences on college campuses are the parties – wild and alcohol-filled soirees that often play out on television, in movies, and on the news on a regular basis. However, a college’s alcohol culture can lead to dangerous consequences for your college-aged children. Alcohol addiction is a major problem for college students and can go largely ignored because of the prevalence of alcohol use on college campuses. If you have a college student, here are a few signs that they may be suffering from an alcohol addiction.

#1: Your Student’s Grades Suddenly Drop

One of the first signs of alcohol abuse and one of the most common for college students is a sudden drop in their school performance. Students who abuse alcohol often see their grades fall suddenly – because they are drinking, they are missing classes, are unable to study as much as they used to, and don’t complete the homework. If your student’s academic performance suddenly drops, they may be struggling with an alcohol addiction or another serious issue.

#2: Your Student’s Sleeping Patterns Change

Alcohol seriously impacts our sleep cycles. Alcohol consumption disrupts sleep and reduces the time we spend in REM sleep, which helps us feel rested in the morning. With less REM sleep, we experience more daytime drowsiness and our concentration skills suffer. In addition, people who abuse alcohol, especially college students, stay up all night and sleep all day. If your college student’s sleeping patterns change or they are increasingly more tired, they may have an alcohol problem. 

#3: Your Student Engages in Binge Drinking

As a parent, you may not know too much about your student’s drinking habits. However, if your student does share this information with you or you witness how much they drink, keep an eye out for binge drinking behaviors. Binge drinking occurs when you consume a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time. This practice leads to black-outs and alcohol poisoning, putting your child at risk for addiction. If your child is regularly engaging in binge drinking, they may have an alcohol addiction. 

#4: Your Student Is Facing Legal Troubles

Alcohol addiction often puts people in legal trouble. Binge drinking and excessive alcohol consumption makes people feel as if they can get away with risky behaviors and limits their judgement and decision-making skills. If your child is facing legal consequences for crimes such as vandalism, theft, public drunkenness, or driving under the influence, they may have an alcohol addiction and need professional help.

#5: You Notice a Change in Your Student’s Appearance

Binge drinking and alcohol addiction takes a toll on a person’s appearance. If you notice a sudden change in your college student’s physical appearance, they may be struggling with an alcohol addiction. Sudden, rapid weight gain is a common sign of alcoholism. They may have consistently red or bloodshot eyes, dark circles under their eyes, and develop sallow, pale skin during the course of their addiction.

#6: Your Student Does Not Participate in Their Favorite Activities

Your student loved to play sports, participate in school plays, or engaged in other extracurriculars during their college careers. However, alcohol addiction may suddenly cause your child to give up these activities altogether. They may begin isolating themselves from extracurricular activities, only having the energy to go to class and to drink. They may still go to parties in order to continue to drink alcohol. If you notice that your college student suddenly stops participating in the activities that they used to love, alcohol addiction may be playing a role.


#7: Your Student Stops Hanging Out With Old Friends

People who are suffering from alcohol addiction often withdraw from friends who do not abuse alcohol and start spending time with more people who are heavy drinkers. If your child suddenly changes their friend group or stops hanging out with their friends altogether, they may be retreating due to their addiction. Your student may not want their friends to see them in a negative light and do not want to reveal their substance abuse issues. 

Instead, your child may switch to another social circle to spend time with other alcohol abusers. It is very easy to find people who enjoy drinking excessively in college. Your student may begin hanging out around people who like to party, allowing them to fly under the radar and drink every single night. If your student is hanging out with a group of people who have a reputation for heavy drinking, it is likely to that they are suffering from alcohol abuse too.


#8: Your Student Has Mood Swings and Is Suddenly Irritable

Alcohol abuse makes people feel extremely irritable and exhibit mood swings that they may not have exhibited before. If your student is abusing alcohol, you may notice a sudden change in their character. Your previously happy, positive child may suddenly become negative and depressed. They may lash out in anger and have severe fluctuations in their mood. Alcohol abuse often leads to the development of mental illnesses such as severe depression and anxiety.


#9: Your Student Suddenly Stops Making Contact With You

It is common for college students to exercise their independence after they leave home. However, if your child usually calls or texts you during their time away at college and suddenly stops answering your messages, alcohol abuse may play a role. They may feel ashamed of their alcohol addiction and are trying to hide it. They may also be sleeping, intoxicated, or recovering from a hangover – making it difficult to find time to speak to you.


#10: Your Student Continues to Drink Even When They Suffer Consequences

Alcohol abuse can cause problems very quickly – from arrests to dropping grades to disciplinary actions at school and damage to relationships. If your child is suffering from alcohol addiction, they will encounter these issues. They may face consequences because of these issues. If they continue to drink heavily after these consequences, they have an addiction and they need professional help as soon as possible. Addiction compels a person to drink more, and a few consequences may not be enough to push your child to seek help.


Get Professional Help at Windmill Wellness Ranch Today

Do you have a college student who is struggling from alcohol addiction? They need professional treatment as soon as possible. If you are looking for a comprehensive alcohol treatment program located in the Canyon Lake, Texas area, look no further than Windmill Wellness Ranch. 

Our holistic drug and alcohol treatment programs offer numerous therapies to help your student on the road to recovery. We offer yoga, art therapy, grief counseling, and more at our private, dog-friendly treatment center. Contact Windmill Wellness Ranch today to learn more about our Canyon Lake facility and how to enroll.