Alcohol has caused problems since the first colleges and universities were founded and remain to this day the drug most abused by students. While some people decrease alcohol and/or drug use after their first two to three years in college, others continue to binge drink or use drugs and eventually develop a substance abuse problem.
Signs of abusing alcohol and/or other substances include: failure to fulfill obligations at school and work (e.g., absences, tardiness, incomplete assignments, performing below potential); substance use in situations when it’s physically hazardous (e.g., driving under the influence); substance-related legal problems (e.g., fighting, damaging property, date or acquaintance rape, sexual harassment); continued use despite recurrent social or interpersonal problems (e.g., losing friends, significant others, family members); continued use despite repeated harmful consequences (e.g., placed on academic probation, losing a part-time job, being arrested).
If you know of a person with a drinking and/or substance use problem:
1. Seek assistance. The following resources are available to help you.
2. Submit a Care Report.
- Treat the situation as serious, but withhold judgment. Be objective.
- Be aware that the use of substances is not based on logic. Lecturing isn’t effective.
- Hold the person responsible for his/her behaviors and assignments.
- Be aware that denial is powerful and includes conscious and unconscious lying, distortions and delusions (at times).
- Be aware that for a person who is addicted to a substance, cravings or hunger for the substance may be increased by stress.
- Be aware that the more a person is exposed to treatment opportunities, the better chance s/he will be motivated to change behavior.
- Refer the person to the Alcohol and Drug Program for a drug and alcohol assessment.
- Make light of drug and drinking stories.
- Tell your personal stories of party days.
- Engage in drug use or drinking with the person.
- Assume college drug and alcohol experimentation is harmless.
Submit a Care Report