The large population of persons in colleges consist of young energetic people aged between 18 and 24 years, these are the prime years and people in this age bracket tend to experiment on many stuff. Alcohol abuse whether casual drinking or alcoholism is now a ritual in many universities with reports indicating that nearly 80% of college students engage in this habit.
Alcohol use alters brain activities and neurochemistry thus creating a change in behaviour, personality, and functionality. Early diagnosis and therapy are vital in restoring normalcy. Some of the vital signs that will help parents suspect alcoholism in college students include:
1. A continued decline in performance
Studies show that 1 in 4 of college students engaging in binge drinking will at some point experience a deterioration in their academic performance. The effects of alcohol abuse to the brain are vivid and manifest by lack of ability to retain information and poor judgmental abilities. Besides, alcoholics often miss classes and fail to meet deadlines for assignment submission all contributing to poor performance.
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2. Changes in appearance
Alcohol addiction is associated with dramatic changes in physical appearance. Parents to college students should be aware of such changes like bloodshot eyes, myopia, weight gain or weight loss and development of belly among others. Once you note this changes, you should inquire if there is any “alcohol rehab near me” and contact the hotline to heighten your investigations, get a conclusive result and possibly initiate a rehabilitative therapy.
3. Engagements in reckless and risky behaviours
After abusing alcohol many students will lose moderation and engage in life-threatening activities. Some may be involved in sexual assault, drunk driving or even vandalism. These often result in injuries ranging from minor cuts, fractures or concussions such may be life-threatening and fatal. The wound healing process is also not well observed and sometimes end up in chronic ulcerations.
Other health-related problems crucial to identifying alcohol addiction among college students include; liver disease, hypertension, and pancreatitis. However, you must rule out other differential diagnoses before settling on alcohol as the aetiology.
4. Change in social circle and isolation
Substance abusers usually tend to distance themselves from parents and reduce contact point and times as much as possible. They act secretively and will only associate with negative peers who accommodate their behaviours. In a bid to hide their shame, addicts will try to change friends and conceal all signs that are indicative of alcohol addiction. For students who get to ethanol abuse, they will tend to be lively at parties but get depressed at home when they cannot access alcohol.
5. Insatiable financial needs
Finally, alcohol addicts are likely to overspend on drinks to satisfy their ever-enduring need for drinks, they will, therefore, stagnate under financial constraints. Such students are likely to engage in unwarranted activities to meet their need for alcohol as well as those of their friend because the budget supplied by their parents is limiting. Parents should regulate expenditures and transactions. Unexplained spending can be indicative of addiction.
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