WellCat Prevention

Recognizing a Problem with Alcohol

If you are concerned about a friend's drinking, go to How to Help a Friend.

If you are concerned about yourself, read the following statements and keep track of how many times they apply to you.

For a downloadable pdf version of our guide, click here (PDF).

Drinking Patterns

  • It is difficult for you to stop drinking after you've had one or two drinks.
  • When you drink, you always wind up drunk.
  • Even after your friends say they've had enough alcohol, you want to continue drinking.
  • You turn to certain "drinking buddies" or to a specific environment when you drink.
  • You crave a drink at a specific time every day, like after class or after work.
  • When you're out with friends, you sneak a few drinks without their knowledge.
  • A significant part of your day is spent obtaining, consuming, or recovering from the effects of alcohol.
  • You sometimes have a drink to help you fall asleep.
  • You sometimes stay drunk for several days at a time.

After Drinking

  • The day after drinking, you have trouble remembering what you did while you were under the influence.
  • You sometimes feel guilty about your drinking.
  • You've done something sexual while you were under the influence of alcohol that you later regretted.
  • You always have a hangover or headache after you've been drinking.
  • When you're sober, you regret things you said or did while you were drinking.
  • After drinking, you have experienced severe anxiety, shaking, or visual or auditory hallucinations.

Drinking and Emotions

  • When you're in a social situation and no alcohol is provided, you feel uncomfortable.
  • You use alcohol as an escape when you're angry, disappointed, or otherwise upset.
  • Your personality is altered when you consume alcohol.


  • Drinking has caused you to be late for class or work.
  • Your performance at school or work has suffered because of your drinking.
  • You have gotten into an argument or a physical altercation while you were drinking.
  • Your drinking has led to financial difficulty.
  • You have neglected your classes, job, family or other obligations for two or more days in a row because you were drinking.
  • You have been arrested for intoxicated behavior or driving under the influence of alcohol.

Family and Friends

  • Your family or friends have expressed concern about your drinking.
  • You get irritated when your family or friends want to discuss your drinking.
  • You have lost a friend or created a rift with a family member based on their feelings about your drinking.

You've tried to change

  • You've promised yourself to slow down or stop drinking, but you can only keep the promise for a few days or weeks at a time.
  • You have tried switching from one kind of alcohol to another in an effort to cut down or remain in control of your drinking, or to try to avoid getting drunk.

If you answered yes to 4 of the above, you may have a problem with alcohol or have the potential to develop one. Examine your habits honestly. Patterns of heavy drinking in college could lead to a more serious problem down the road. You can reduce your drinking with some of the ideas listed in Ways to Cut Down.

If you answered yes to 5 or more of these statements, there's a strong chance that you frequently misuse and abuse alcohol. NOW is the time for you to change your drinking patterns and behaviors. The habits you develop in college can continue and worsen throughout your life. The resources below can help you; all of Chico State’s resources are free and confidential.


Click here for a free, anonymous assessment tool that provides individualized feedback on the role alcohol is playing in your life. You can also see how your use compares with other college students. 

Resources at Chico State

WellCat Prevention
WellCat Prevention provides confidential appointments for drug or alcohol concerns. WellCat Prevention is located in Sutter 150p, in the same building as the Hub in University Housing

WellCat Health Center
Book an appointment online or speak with 24/7 telehealth services.

WellCat Counseling Center

Depending on the nature of your needs and the availability of resources, WellCat Counseling offers group counseling, short-term individual counseling, short-term couples counseling, referral to a workshop or presentation on a specific topic, or referral to counseling services in the community.

Resources in Chico

Alcoholics Anonymous
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

Narcotics Anonymous
Offers recovery from the effects of addiction through working a twelve-step program, including regular attendance at group meetings. The group atmosphere provides help from peers and offers an ongoing support network for addicts who wish to pursue and maintain a drug free lifestyle. The name, Narcotics Anonymous, is not meant to imply a focus on any particular drug; NA’s approach makes no distinction between drugs including alcohol.

Marijuana Anonymous
Self-help fellowship group for those who cannot control their marijuana use and are experiencing adverse effects in other areas of their life. No fee is charged. Marijuana Anonymous uses the basic 12 Steps of Recovery founded by Alcoholics Anonymous.

Adapted from University of California, Santa Cruz: Student Heath Outreach & Promotion