Parents want what is best for their children, especially as they move out of the house and find independence. However, some children may abuse their new freedom by excessively partying or experimenting with drugs.

It’s critical for parents to know why their “perfect child” may resort to drug use while at college and how they can spot the changes before it’s too late.

Why do college students resort to drug use?

According to, college students are surrounded by multiple factors that may attract them to drug use. For example, many students deal with an abundant amount of stress between classes, work and social obligations. Drugs may be a coping mechanism for their growing stress levels.

There are also other reasons for high drug use among college students such as course load, curiosity and peer pressure. Even the best students may succumb to trying specific drugs, such as Adderall, after attending a party or procrastinating a twelve-page essay.

How do you recognize drug abuse?

Parents worry about their kids, but they may not want to confront them until they have substantial evidence of a problem. For drug use, there are signs parents can look for in their student:

  1. A sudden withdraw from usual activities
  2. New friends or acquaintances
  3. A quick change in mood for no apparent reason
  4. Outbursts of anger
  5. Spending or requesting more money
  6. The decline in school or work performance
  7. Unexplained absences from classes or work

If your student has a combination of these common signs, they may be abusing drugs. Before you confront your student, consider a quiet conversation over a long intervention. It allows your child to explain their behavior to you and seek help in a safe environment.