Young adults face many temptations and opportunities to use and abuse alcohol and drugs.  As a parent, it is important to allow for appropriate independence and growth for your student or young adult, but also to keep a watchful eye looking for warning signs or symptoms of alcohol or drug use/addiction.

Part of growing up involves making mistakes and hopefully learning from them.  These teachable moments allow young adults to learn how to respond better in the future.  Emerging adults may not always be able to quickly identify and correct mistakes or difficulties they face. They also are more susceptible to peer pressure or having their viewpoints shaped by outside influences. For this reason, parents need to be closely aware of what is happening in their young adult’s life.

Knowing these 19 warning signs or symptoms of alcohol or drug abuse is critical for every parent:

  • Decline in academic performance
  • Withdrawing from classes
  • Missing classes/school or work frequently
  • Disciplinary problems at school or work
  • Abusive verbally or physically
  • Changes in behavior
  • Becoming more withdrawn from family and friends
  • Sudden changes or increased involvement with new friends
  • Asking for money regularly
  • If the young adult lives with you, missing valuables
  • Conflicts with parents
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • DUI charges, drunk and disorderly tickets, or other legal problems
  • Becoming overly evasive about friends or their activities
  • Lying about activities
  • Smelling of alcohol or drugs
  • Drastic changes in appearance
  • Lack of interest in areas formerly interested in
  • Loss of memory or reduced attention

If you notice any of these behaviors, speak with your young adult and share your observations and concerns.  Ask an open-ended question like, “I noticed that you are struggling with school, what do you think is causing this?” If your emerging adult is non-communicative or resistant, reach out for help.

It is important that you intervene EARLY if you spot any of the signs or symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse.  Untreated addiction in young adults leads to lifelong problems.  You can request a professional drug and alcohol assessment from New Hope Recovery Center by calling 773.883.3916 or email us. We offer flexible treatment programs for emerging adults based on the seriousness of their addiction.

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center