With another college year over, many young women who were living independently on campus have returned home. As you’re helping your daughter readjust to life there, it’s not uncommon to see a few behavior changes in her. She may be trying to minimize or mask some of them, especially if they relate to binge drinking. Today, let’s introduce some of the signs to look for that suggest your daughter is developing an alcohol use disorder.
Your daughter’s return home from college for the summer can be a time to observe any changes to her self-care and lifestyle related to drinking. You may notice signs of alcohol becoming more of a regular part of her week, whether she’s talking about meeting up with friends for a drink or showing more interest in the beer, wine, or liquor you have in the home. Her social media posts may show more alcohol-related content. She may report unwanted sexual advances happened at school when she was drinking. You can address these signs of potential binge drinking while she’s home on break. It’s helpful to show your concern and remain calm while discussing her drinking habits.
10 Signs Your Friend or Daughter is Binge Drinking
- She mentions riding in a car with someone who had been drinking.
Her stories about campus life may provide lots of clues. One of them may be about spending time with friends who drink and then drive. She may put the focus on the risky behavior of her friend rather than on her own choice to get in the car.
- She was injured at school or taken to the ER.
A trip to an emergency room for an alcohol overdose or an injury suffered while drinking is routine on many college campuses.
- Her social media shows drinking photos.
Repeated social media posts showing her drinking or at parties where alcohol is served and consumed openly suggest it’s a routine habit for her at school.
- She was a victim of unwanted sexual advances.
She may tell you about incidents where her safety was threatened by other people who were intoxicated. The threat of unwanted sexual advances or sexual assault increases when people are binge drinking.
- Her academic standing changed.
Missing classes, poor grades, and other academic issues show her priority at school is not her education or earning a degree.
- Her weight changed dramatically.
A change to her weight, up or down, can be a clue about her self-care and lifestyle. Binge drinking over the course of the past semester, along with poor eating habits, can alter her appearance quickly.
- She excuses binge drinking as acceptable.
She may openly argue that everybody drinks too much at school. This kind of rationalization is a defense mechanism for her.
- She’s drinking frequently at home.
Her drinking habits at home can be a sign of excessive drinking at school. She might routinely buy beer, wine, or liquor to keep the fridge or liquor cabinet stocked.
- She only socializes with other drinkers.
You may see her spend time with peers who drink or hear her frequently talk about meeting up with friends for drinks. Alcohol as the constant in her social time during the summer is a sign she may have grown accustomed to drinking in excess regularly.
- She stashes empty containers in hiding places.
Keeping a mom or dad from tracking how much she’s drinking may involve hiding bottles. Finding a stash of dozens of bottles or cans is a hint that she knows he’s drinking excessively and doesn’t want you to discover it.
Addressing a Binge Drinking Problem
A parent whose college-age daughter is binge drinking may see its effect on the family before having a conversation. It’s helpful to talk about it at a time you can remain calm and focused only on the drinking. Showing your concern doesn’t mean taking over their responsibilities or covering up for them to minimize any consequences. Choosing a time when she’s sober may be more effective than confronting them while she’s still drinking.
Hannah’s House is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 561.841.1272.