Young adulthood is a life stage with new experiences and major transitions. It can also be a stage of risky behaviors and experimentation with things like drugs and alcohol. That is especially true among college students. Recent data suggests more than half of all college students aged 18-22 engage in drinking within any given one-month period. College binge drinking rates aren’t far behind, with one in three engaging in that behavior using the same time constraints. This all adds up to a significant rate of young adult alcoholism.
College Binge Drinking
Academic research commonly defines binge drinking as five or more alcoholic drinks in two hours for males and four or more drinks within two hours for females. This level of intake not only can result in damage to a person’s organs, particularly their liver, it can also come with other grave consequences. These consequences can include:
- Death, such as from drunk driving or alcohol-related accidents
- Higher rates of assault, including sexual assault
- Academic problems
- Young adult alcoholism
College is a ripe time for binge drinking for a variety of reasons. Students attending college in their teen years have large amounts of unstructured time, widespread availability of alcohol, and diminished parental influence if they live on campus. Not all college environments are equal in this regard. Greek life, athletic programs, and living situations all factor into the prevalence of alcohol and how prevalent college binge drinking ends up being.
Addiction in Young Adults
Young adults consistently show the highest rates of substance abuse across the population. It is a life stage of growing independence that is also marked by a desire to experiment, higher rates of mental health disorders, and societal influences that encourage substance use.
Notably, the young adult brain hasn’t finished developing in the late teens and early twenties. Researchers believe this unfinished development can at times leave teens more predisposed to risky behavior. At the same time, substance use can damage the brain or impede proper development. This means usage in young adulthood is a major concern for a person’s future outlook and ability to avoid addiction throughout life.
Signs of Young Adult Alcoholism
If you are a parent, you may be wondering how to tell if alcoholism is something you need to worry about with your child. Just because your child attends college or occasionally drinks alcohol doesn’t mean they will acquire young adult alcoholism or develop an addiction.
That is why it is key to watch out for warning signs that can aid in understanding whether or not your child is struggling with addiction. Many of the warning signs are also common traits of the teen years as their minds and bodies develop. In light of that, look for multiple signs to overlap or else monitor if any of these warning signs suddenly appear.
The most common warning signs are:
- Mood changes, including irritability, anger, and defensiveness
- Academic problems
- The presence of alcohol, especially if they are trying to hide it
- Physical or mental problems like memory loss, poor concentration, or slurred speech
Contact BoardPrep Recovery Center® Today
If you believe your child is struggling with young adult alcoholism, the good news is that recovery is possible. It’s important not to blame yourself or lay judgment on your child for their addiction. Instead, focus on getting them the help and support they need to regain sobriety. Start by calling us at 866.796.4720 today to access young adult addiction recovery services that can heal your family.