Sending your child off to college is a bittersweet moment. While you’re happy and excited for your child, you can’t help but worry about what they might run into. You are a parent, after all, and this doesn’t go away because your college student isn’t living at home. But, what happens when these normal fears are true? How do you handle a child that comes home on break and appears to have a drinking problem?
Signs of a Drinking Problem in College
Here are a few signs that your college student may have a problem with alcohol.
College is different from middle school and high school in the fact that the classes aren’t free. While college students rarely understand the true costs of college – until they are given their tuition bill – most recognize that they are paying to be there. If your child starts skipping class, it’s a sign that something isn’t right.
Difficult to Connect With
No longer are parents and children reliant on pay phones or pagers to talk to each other. Between social media, email, text and talking on the phone, there are plenty of ways to get in touch with your child. Understandably, your college student might not feel comfortable having two-hour heart-to-hearts with you, but they should be easy to reach.
Sleeping During the Day
Another warning sign of a possible alcohol problem is sleeping during the day. Sure, college students are known for pulling all-nighters, but this happens sometimes. If your child seems tired all the time, and this behavior is coupled with staying out all night, dig deeper into the reasons why this is the case. As noisy as dorms can be, even young people need their beauty rest.
Feelings of Hopelessness
What makes identifying an addiction in college students difficult is that the parents aren’t there. You can’t possibly know everything that is going on. While you don’t want to drive yourself crazy over-analyzing everything, you do want to be vigilant. If you find that your child is constantly feeling helpless, homeless and homesick, they could be struggling with something more.
Other conditions share the same symptoms as what’s listed above, so it’s crucial that you talk with your child and try to get as much information as possible. If you don’t think it’s alcohol causing the issues, it’s possible that depression is to blame. However, if you know that alcohol is at the root of your child’s academic and social issues, please call The River Source. We work with individuals 18 years and over and can help your child.