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College campuses have been known for some time to bring out the wild, sometimes debaucherous behavior of young people away from home for the first time. As a parent, when young adults return home for summer break, it can be shocking to find an underfed-looking, exhausted version of your child who responds in mostly monosyllables. While some characteristics may return to a healthier balance with some familial support, parents are encouraged to recognize the signs of addiction and substance abuse while children are home.
Not every young adult who goes to college parties is going to be susceptible to binge drinking or drug abuse, but there is a greater potential for developing negative coping mechanisms while at school. The pressure college brings, being away from familiar support and the responsibility of managing life as an adult, can create a perfect storm scenario for students who may already have underlying mental health conditions.
Addictive behavior in college students tends to take hold initially as a coping mechanism which becomes a perceived necessity for performance. A student might begin binge drinking on weekends and become reliant on that form of letting off steam; or begin using an enhancing drug to improve their ability to study long hours, and then only associate the ability to study effectively with the drug. These sorts of behaviors will ultimately hurt their ability to manage life effectively in the long run, and may damage their chances of succeeding while in school as well. Feel free to reach out to our resources on drug rehab in Carson City to speak with with someone about addictive behavior.
Warning signs to be aware of:
1. Neglecting responsibilities
2. Changes in appetite or sleep patterns, sudden weight loss or weight gain
3. Deterioration of self-care, signs of regular and inappropriate intoxication (bloodshot eyes, tremors, loss of coordination and slurred speech)
4. Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
5. Sudden mood swings, irritability, angry outbursts or increasing troubles with relationships
These are some red flags it’s important to express concern about; try with an open dialogue to determine if some extra help in the form of counseling or treatment might be necessary. Summer can be an ideal time to take time and re-establish healthy patterns. Getting help, even when only displaying some troubling characteristics, will improve a student’s overall transition during college and increase their ability to develop effective stress coping skills.