Partying has become a standard part of the college experience. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than one third of college students report binge drinking within the past month and about 20 percent of college students used an illicit drug at least once in the past month. While these statistics make college sound like party time, college is actually a tremendously stressful time for many students. It’s often their first time away from home and they have learn to live on their own while also learning to adjust to much higher academic standards. They may feel pressure to get good grades so they can get that internship, job, scholarship, or fellowship and justify paying so much tuition. This stress, combined with high rates of drinking and drug use are perfect combination for developing a substance use disorder. Whether you are a college student or the parent of a college student, here are some indications that college drinking has become a problem.
While it’s normal to have a difficult class that dents your GPA every now and then, if all your grades are dropping, then there might be something else going on. Even if your drinking is confined to weekends–which in many cases start on Thursday night–a weekend with too much drinking and too little sleep can have consequences for the rest of the week. It can leave you groggy and impair your concentration in memory in addition to eating into your study time. Drinking during the week will have a more dramatic effect.
Skipping class and other obligations
A classic sign of addiction is skipping important responsibilities to drink instead. If you’re skipping class or not studying to drink instead, or if you’re missing class because you’re too tired or hungover from drinking, it’s a good sign your drinking has become a problem. Missing classes, study sessions, and deadlines will crash your grades in a hurry too.
There’s always a possibility that you get pulled over the one time you drive after drinking too much, but that’s probably the exception. Typically, a DUI indicates that you frequently drive drunk, which is not only a sign of bad judgment but also of a drinking problem. A DUI is also an escalation from relatively minor consequences like dropping grades. A DUI means legal trouble which is expensive and might lead to prison time. A DUI should be a loud wake-up call.
Blackouts are scary because you have no idea what happened the night before. You might have lost something, made someone mad, or injured yourself and have no idea how. Blackouts are caused by fast rising blood alcohol and so are common during binge drinking. Frequent blackouts are a clear sign you need to drastically limit your drinking.
Developing a tolerance
Another classic sign of addiction is needing more alcohol to get drunk. This means you’ve developed a tolerance. The flip side of tolerance is dependence. This is when you need alcohol to feel normal. If you’ve developed a tolerance for alcohol but aren’t yet addicted, you will be soon.
If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Our Copper Hills facility specializes in the treatment of young adults. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.