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Get Help

The information in this section will present information about ways for families of students to get help should they suspect high risk drinking and substance misuse.

Reaching Students Away from Home

For a poisoning emergency (e.g., alcohol or drug overdose) call 911

or 1-800-222-1222.

If someone you know is struggling with the misuse of alcohol or drugs, help them get professional assistance. Talk with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. College students should contact their institution’s counseling, student health, or student wellness center. If needed, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides a searchable directory of drug and alcohol treatment programs.

Warning Signs

As a family member of a college student, you are their biggest advocate. Be sure to know the warning signs of alcohol and drug misuse that could lead to damaging addiction.

  • Financial difficulties
  • Decreased school performance
  • Differing irritibility
  • Developing a high-tolerance for alcohol
  • Withdrawing from social or school activities
  • Physical injuries
  • Getting in trouble with the law for alcohol or drug related offenses
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Flushed cheeks
  • Withdraw symptoms of alcohol dependency: sweating, anxiety, nausea, shakes
  • Smell of alcohol
  • Prescription drugs missing
  • Red eyes
  • Irritability


Be sure to check with your university hospital for treatment services, or contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Hotline to find a treatment center near you. 1-800-662-HELP

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