College is an opportunity to grow, learn, and expand. For many it is a time to discover passions, possibilities, and make new friends. For some, that first taste of freedom is partying too much in college, which can often lead to regular drug and alcohol use. If you have a child in college, you may wonder if their partying is the norm or if they are addicted.
Having a child with a drug addiction can be a major life stressor. Although college kids partying doesn’t always equate to addiction, substance abuse has become very commonplace on college campuses, affecting ¼ of students. While some students arrive on campus with addictions in place, others begin their use on campus. The most commonly abused drugs on college campuses are alcohol, marijuana, and Adderall. Closely behind are Xanax, narcotics, cocaine, and hallucinogens.
If you are concerned your student is partying too much in college or may be addicted, there are some signs you can look out for. Common indicators of addiction may include:
If your child is showing signs of anxiety or depression having an honest conversation with them asking if they are using drugs or alcohol to cope can be a great starting place to begin a dialogue. Therapy can be helpful to learn new strategies to cope with stress.
A Drop in Grades
While some students who are addicted to drugs excel in school, it’s not uncommon for students to miss assignments or class that can lead to a drop in grades when abusing drugs.
If you notice an upswing in spending, asking what the money is being spent on is a good starting point. If they suddenly report they dropped their phone in the toilet, needed new tires, and had a medical emergency, these may be fabrications to cover the drug expenses.
College can take a lot out of your child and make them sleep a couple more hours than they had at home. However, drastic changes in a student’s sleep schedule can be a sign of too much partying. If your child is not getting much sleep at all, or they are sleeping far too much during the day, it could be due to the fact that they are struggling with substance abuse issues.
Some students struggle with proper health and nutrition when they are recently on their own. If your child has lost a great deal of weight at a fast rate, then there may be reason for concern. One of the most common signs of addiction is extreme weight loss.
Other indicators of addiction that may be more difficult to identify from a distance include:
- Wanting to quit, but not being able to.
- Continuing to use drugs despite negative consequences.
- Prioritizing drug use over responsibilities.
- Developing a tolerance (needing higher quantities to get the same effect).
- Fearing withdrawal symptoms.
College kids partying is normal, but there is a point where it becomes too much. If you feel your child has an addiction problem, help is available. Meeting with an addiction counselor is a great step to learn treatment options. Some parents have children that won’t admit they have an addiction problem. If this is the case, you may have to offer a choice between treatment and losing financial support. While your child’s recovery is important, it’s also important that you get help. Talk to the addiction counselor about resources for yourself as the loved one of an addict.
One step at a time, one day at a time, you can recover. At Design For Change, we offer refuge to those seeking to win against addiction because there is freedom in recovery. There is hope. Call us today to learn more about our long-term treatment programs and recovery services creating change, one step at a time. (877) 267-3646