There is no denying that society has normalised massive alcohol consumption by students. Uni or even secondary students and big nights out go hand in hand, but this can prove exceptionally dangerous. As binge drinking continues to push the limitations on an acceptable amount to drink, many students get lost in the problem before they even realise there is one.
With that in mind, we have compiled a list of some tell-tale signs that a student’s drinking is getting out of hand. There is a culture of alcohol throughout universities and secondary schools nationwide. It is easy to get swept up by it, but knowing the warning signs can help prevent you or a loved one from becoming susceptible.
Are There Visible Symptoms?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It might sound strange to refer to them as symptoms, but addiction is an illness. If you are drinking too much, then you may already be showing some symptoms.
The effects can arise from continued excessive use or withdrawal after reducing your intake. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can take many forms, which is why they aren’t always easy to spot.
The obscurity of withdrawal symptoms also results from how often people confuse symptoms with a simple hangover. We aren’t going to detail the surrounding symptoms, but rather some specific behaviours you might be able to identify in yourself or one of your mates. If you recognise one or more, it may be time to reach out for some help.
Consistent Binge Drinking
Going out every weekend and drinking endless amounts is the norm at most universities. Nearly 70% of respondents in a survey reported binge drinking weekly.
If this sounds like you, stop to examine your behaviour. No one wants to prevent you from having fun, but ask yourself, could you stop if you wanted? If every time you drink, you feel the need to binge, there is a problem.
University Attendance Dropping
Nights out are fun; there’s no denying it. But if it starts to affect your attendance at seminars and lectures, you are on a slippery slope.
Remember, you are at university to earn your degree, not to do shots. There is time for both, but striking a balance is vital. If you are spending more time in clubs than in lecture halls, you need to reassess your priorities.
Spending Time Exclusively With Friends Who Drink
Consider who you have been spending the most time with recently. It is natural to gravitate towards people you feel you have more in common with, but consider how they may be enabling your worst habits. If your friendship group exclusively goes out drinking and finds time for little else, you may all be enabling each other.
Try to spend a little more time with friends that aren’t heavy drinkers. Or, better yet, organise a social outing with friends that doesn’t involve alcohol. Try to redress the balance before things get out of hand.
Being a Student Doesn’t Exempt You From Alcoholism
Drinking too much and being a student are often synonymous experiences, but they shouldn’t be. Alcoholism and addiction are illnesses, and you need to treat them the same way. Don’t brush off your own or a friend’s behaviour as ‘just being a student’, especially when it starts to interfere with your university success.