Recognizing Symptoms of Abuse

College is a growing experience for many young adults. It's not unusual for parents to notice changes in their sons or daughters during college. However, certain behaviors may indicate that your son or daughter is developing problems with substance abuse.

Here are some common indicators:

  • Dramatic drops in academic performance. It's not unusual for a person's grades to change somewhat when they first enter college. This is normal. When grades drop dramatically, this may indicate that problems are developing.
  • Judicial trouble from alcohol, drugs, and/or violence. Remember that parents of UNCW first-year students who are placed on disciplinary probation will receive a parental notification letter from the university. For more information about UNCW's conduct system, visit the "Know the Code" page or the Office of the Dean of Students.
  • Noticable health problems. Alcohol use and its consequences is the number one health concern for college students. Students who are developing problems may displays bruises and injuries (sometimes your student may not remember getting them) and frequent illnesses.
  • Irresponsible behavior.
  • Insistence that there is no problem. A student in trouble may make excuses for his or her behavior or become defensive when confronted.
    Making light of serious consequences and problems.
  • Never available to talk on the phone or visit. Communication patterns and expectations are a common negotiation between families and students. However, a sudden unavailability or avoidance could be an indication that something is going on in your student's life.