Early adulthood can be stressful for young adults. Some may drink alcohol or do drugs to cope. As a parent, paying close attention to your child can help you spot the signs of alcoholism and help them get treatment from an alcohol rehab program that matches their recovery needs.

What Is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism, alcohol use disorder (AUD), and alcohol addiction are terms used to describe a loss of control over alcohol consumption. The disorder is a medical condition and affects millions of young people in the U.S. Based on a national survey, 14.1 million adults ages 18 and older had AUD in 2019.1 The statistics on alcoholism in teens was also startling.

Young adults affected by AUD drink frequently and excessively, spend a lot of time hungover, and are unable to function properly on a daily basis. They continue to drink despite the negative impact heavy drinking has on their life. Practices such as binge drinking worsen the drinking problem and make quitting more difficult.

5 Signs of Alcoholism in Young Adults

Look for these five giveaway signs your adult child is may have an addiction to alcohol.

1. Changes in Eating Habits or Physical Appearance

Your young adult child abusing alcohol may gain or lose weight due to changes in appetite. They may smell like alcohol or appear unkempt. Bloodshot eyes or pupils that are smaller or larger than normal are other telltale signs of alcoholism in young adults.

2. Skipping Classes or Work

If your child is normally dedicated to school or work, but all of a sudden, they are missing classes or calling out from work, it may mean they are distracted by the need to drink. Similarly, they may be too sick, hungover, or drowsy to get to school or work.

3. Changes in Behavior

Alcohol abuse affects brain functions. Your child may become easily irritated or angry as a result. Other out-of-character behaviors include withdrawing from family, friends, and social activities and increased absence from home as they spend more time trying to find and consume alcohol.

4. Withdrawal Symptoms

A set of symptoms usually show up when someone skips a dose of alcohol or tries to quit drinking. Common symptoms include anxiety, agitation, tremors, nausea, and vomiting. Extreme symptoms include delirium tremens and seizures.

5. Unusual Drowsiness or Blackouts

Frequent drowsiness, lethargy, and sleepiness may indicate excessive drinking. Too much alcohol in the system also impairs judgment, thinking, memory, cause slurred speech, and result in poor coordination. You may even find your child “blacked out” altogether.

If you have teenagers at home and suspect they, too, are drinking, note that the signs of alcoholism in young adults are similar to signs of alcoholism in teens.

Recovering from Alcoholism at an Alcohol Rehab

Discovering your adult son or daughter has a drinking problem can be devastating. Fortunately, alcohol use disorder is treatable. Zelus Recovery offers several addiction treatment programs designed to help young adults overcome dependence on alcohol and drugs. We can conduct a detailed evaluation to diagnose AUD and draft a treatment plan to help your loved one sober up.

At Zelus, we offer many different programs, including:

The program choice depends on the severity of the addiction and the need to address an underlying mental health disorder such as depression. Alcoholism is a chronic disease that often requires detox and a series of evidence-based treatments that promote sobriety. Our evidence-based treatments include behavioral therapies, medication therapy, and family therapy. Mutual-support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting, can also have a positive impact on recovery.

Contact Zelus Recovery for Help with Your Young Adult

The compassionate and professional staff at Zelus Recovery is always eager to welcome young adults from near and far who are ready to take their life back. Don’t wait another day to help your loved one. For more information about alcoholism in young adults, reach out to our team by calling 208.518.0797 or completing our confidential online form.


Zelus Recovery Center Idaho Rehab Center ID Addiction Treatment CenterLocated in Meridian, Idaho, Zelus Recovery offers life-changing outpatient addiction treatment for adolescents and young adults. Using proven therapeutic approaches that promote family involvement, we help young individuals who are struggling with addiction turn their lives around.