Alcoholism at Uni: Know the Signs

A wise friend of mine once said “It’s a miracle universities don’t burn down more often. They’re buildings full of children given money and alcohol who can do what they want for the first time ever.” Whilst the excitement of his statement is clear, there’s a darker half to it that I think needs further exploration. Just as you make friends for life at university, you also form habits and crutches that will stick with you for some time. Best know how to identify and shake them off before they become a real problem, alcoholism being chief amongst these.

Trust me when I say this; if ever you even think you might be drinking too much, take a minute to stand back and really consider the possibility. Danger comes not only from partaking too much but crucially also from not even realising it’s happening. Consider the following: do you drink alone? Is there a particular mood you’re in when you start drinking? More people use alcohol not only as a social lubricant but also as a coping mechanism than realise they do. Count up how many units you drink in a week and compare it to the NHS guidelines (link at the bottom of this page) in order to see if you may be indulging too much.

Sometimes you need a shock to realise you’re not in a fit state. Know that there will always be help given, as long as you ask for it. Inform a trusted friend, partner or family member of your situation, and you’ll be surprised how willing they will be to get you through this. They can help you find the right tools to overcome your addiction, and make sure that you stay safe and healthy over the weeks and months that come after. Crucially, they can also provide a reassuring voice, and be someone who reminds you of how far you’ve come, and that you can always get back to where you were if you break your sobriety.


For help finding resources, please follow the links below:

Alcohol misuse – NHS (

Get help now | Alcohol Change UK

Alcohol units – NHS (