Alcohol and other substance abuse is a significant problem on college campuses. Many students experiment with their newfound freedom by using alcohol and other chemicals, but many find it difficult to control their use.

Just at the time that many students are endeavoring to improve their lives through higher education, many are beginning or exaggerating a severe alcohol or substance abuse problem that may harm their chances of an education and or career of their choice.

This list includes telltale signs that you or someone you know may have a problem in this area. It is never too soon to take positive action.

  • Increased frequency of use
  • Loss of control over frequency, duration and or amount of use
  • Drinking or using when you don't intend to
  • Substance use interferes with life activities (i.e. school, relationships with family and friends)
  • Increased spending money on substance of choice
  • Personality changes noted by self and others
  • Getting into risky/dangerous behaviors
  • Other people express concern about your use/behavior
  • Grades dropping
  • Missing classes and appointments
  • Legal trouble (i.e., DUI)
  • Loss of friends (except perhaps other chemical abusers)
  • Negative changes in appetite with possible weight loss
  • Possible reduction or loss of libido (sex drive) … and or only able to perform when using
  • Extreme mood swings, including anger and depression
  • Obsessions about using or procuring substance when not under the influence
  • Lying about substance use to friends and loved ones
  • Loss of memory for times when under the influence
  • Uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when not using
  • Involvement in crime to support habit
  • Loss of energy and general health
  • You are increasingly unable to believe your own denial and excuses

How the center can assist:

  • Help clarify your pattern of abuse
  • Identify how your life has been affected
  • Help create strategies to decrease your use
  • Identify related issues that may contribute to your abuse
  • If necessary, referral to more intensive treatment resource

Frequent use and abuse of substances can have a serious effect on one's academic and personal life. Contact the Counseling Center if you or someone you know is having difficulty controlling the use of alcohol or other substance. We provide timely, confidential, and professional assistance for Oberlin students.