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How Do I know if My College Student Has a Drug Addiction?

If you or a loved one are seeking treatment for alcohol or substance abuse, please call our partner facility today:
The PAC Program
(866) 516-8266


Having a child can be both rewarding and a never-ending source of worry. As a parent, you work hard to set them up for success and guide them to make the right choices as they head into adulthood. However, the college years can be very stressful, and unfortunately, its not uncommon for young adults to experiment with drugs. Here are some warning signs that your college student may be going down the path of drug addiction.


If youve noticed a sudden change in your childs habits, you might not want to be so quick to shrug it off as an isolated event. Its important to pay attention to the following signs:

  • Increased or lack of appetite
  • Mood swings
  • New cravings
  • Grades are suffering
  • Skipping class
  • Hanging with the wrong crowd
  • Sleeping too much
  • Unkempt appearance and poor hygiene
  • Lack of motivation
  • Ignoring family and friends


If your child isnt looking as healthy as he should, it could be a red flag that drugs are playing a role in this sudden change. Heres what to look out for:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Skin lacerations that werent there previously
  • Red and flushed cheeks
  • Constant licking of the lips
  • Odd smell coming from their breath or clothing
  • A persistent runny nose or a nosebleed despite not being ill


While theres nothing wrong with having privacy, a college student that is suddenly over-secretive can be a red flag. If you notice any of the following behaviors happening consistently, it may be time to intervene:

  • Obsessed with keeping doors locked
  • Vanishing for long periods of time
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Risky behaviors such as stealing, driving too fast, feeling invincible


There are a few things that stand out as a sign that something is wrong, such as finding a stash of drugs. In some cases, there are going to be more subtle signs, so keep an eye out for any abnormal changes in your home environment such as:

  • Wrappers and containers that you dont recognize
  • Syringes
  • Eye drops
  • Various smoking devices
  • Dents in the car that werent there before
  • Alcohol
  • Prescription drugs
  • Over-the-counter drugs

Helping your college student get clean isnt easy, but it is possible. With understanding and compassion, we get to the root of the problem and help them get back on track. The PAC Program provides young men between the ages of 18 and 30 substance abuse therapies in a supportive and safe environment. Contact us today at 623-523-4748 to learn more about our customized treatments.