Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"What triggers alcoholism in adults?"
My son was always a good kid but since college he's been drinking almost every day. He doesn't think there's a problem. What can I do to help him?
The transition to the college years is a difficult one. This is a time in which your child has increasing independence and freedom. At this point they are a legal adult, and so they may be experimenting with behaviors that you do not approve of. This can all be a normal part of the college experience, but at the same time it can be stressful for parents and can also be dangerous for your son. It is important, however, that you do not close off lines of communication with your son. If you can find a way to express your concerns to your son in a way that is affirming and supportive that would be best. In particular, if you are concerned about excessive drinking, you might want to encourage your son to seek out the university health services, such as a visit to his primary care doctor or a university counselor, that are available to him. Also, talk to your son about how things are going emotionally and socially. Sometimes drinking is simply experimentation, but other times it can be a sign of too much stress or of a mood problem such as depression. Alcohol abuse should always be taken seriously, and you can encourage your son to talk to his doctor.
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