3 Ways Addiction Can Turn an Obedient College Student Rebellious

College is a time of new experiences, opportunities, growth and learning. While this can be a very positive time, it is also a time many young men and women are at a higher risk to develop addiction. In almost all cases, becoming an alcoholic or one who is addicted to any substance is not intentional. According to Villanova University, 80 percent of all college students drink. Of that amount, 70% of students say they drink four drinks or less. With the definition of binge drinking (as defined by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) being having approximately four drinks for women and five drinks for men over a period of two hours to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL.

Even if an individual is normally very obedient and typically makes good decisions, some colleges and fraternities have a culture of partying. This often encourages more widespread substance abuse. In many cases, this kind of culture can also lead to a much greater chance of sexual assault as well. In some cases, alcohol abuse can also escalade into to drug abuse because when an individual’s inhibitions are lowered, and decision-making is a more challenging task.

Addiction Replaces Normal Interests

Once an individual becomes addicted to alcohol, he cannot function with out it. Whatever interests existed before go away or at least are not as important as alcohol. The tolerance to drinking builds over time, and more needs to be consumed to get the same buzz as when he first started drinking. Some addicts choose to drink alone, and others may want to drink in groups. Know that not always does an alcoholic appear to be a drunk. Consider an individual that goes to a football game and tailgates and just drinks alcoholic beverages over an extended period of time. An individual can drink a lot of alcohol over the course of an entire afternoon and evening; many times he or she may not know how many drinks have been consumed. There are typically around ten college football games a year, maybe more with playoffs; therefore, it is easy to see how one can develop an alcohol addiction quietly over the course of time.

If you are the parent or friend of a someone who you may be wondering is an alcoholic, symptoms to look for include sudden weight change or change in physical appearance, a dramatic shift in grades or academic performance, changes in sleep patterns, spending time with others who have a reputation of partying a lot or substance abuse, withdrawing from others, unexplained changes in personality or in behavior such as mood swings or extreme irritability.

Addiction Leads to Unsafe Behavior

There is no doubt that alcoholism leads to unsafe behavior, not just for the addict, but also others in their home or even their community. The health concerns include heart disease, liver problems, anemia, cancer, dementia, worsening depression, seizures, nerve damage, stomach problems, sexual diseases, injury and more. Another serious concern is driving under the influence of alcohol. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that an estimated 4,860,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 drive each year an under the influence of alcohol. This is a major concern for the entire country. If you or someone you know struggles with alcohol abuse, please be sure to not drive drunk. Many altercations are alcohol related as well whether at sporting events, bars or even in a private residence. When too much alcohol is consumed, tempers can flair easily, and it is unsafe to be in that unstable environment.

Addiction Harms Relationships

In all cases, addiction will hurt relationships in the long-term. The stress may not appear immediately, but eventually it will cause pain and regret. As a result, relationships with loved ones are often fractured. If someone is an addict, he will often lie to cover for his behavior. This could start out as making excuses for not doing things. As a college student, classes may be missed, or work is not completed. In many cases, addicts use money—and even steal money—to feed their addiction.

The good news is that in many cases, relationships can be restored at least to a degree when you go through the recovery process and receive treatment. You cannot force someone else to get sober. It is an individual choice that is based on knowing that help is needed. If you realize that you need help with alcohol, help is available. If you or someone you care about struggles with this or any other form of addiction, call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline, and our counselors will be glad to talk to you about anything you would like. You can move forward in your recovery, and this can be the first step you take toward a healthy life.