College and university has always been a time in which youngsters experiment with alcohol, sex and drugs. It’s almost part and parcel of that growing up process, and while not advised, many people practice such experiments and establish their thoughts upon them.
Unfortunately, with the likes of drugs and alcohol, it can prove to be a slippery slope that can lead to addiction, and today there are a huge number of people suffering from addiction in college, which is both challenging for the person suffering and for those who are living with that person.
In college you’re thrust into the company of others, living in student residencies and meeting friends for the first time. It can be difficult enough trying to mix and establish each other’s quirks, personality traits and habits. But what if one of those habits is drug addiction?
There are many reasons why someone may be suffering from drug addiction at university or college. These days a large number of people are forming that dependency due to the stresses, with prescription drugs one of the most common forms of addiction and studies have found that as many as 16% of students have misused stimulants alone.
The fact of the matter is though that those people suffering from addiction will also be having a major impact on your own life. So what do you do if you’re living with an addict at college?
Firstly, understand addiction
A good first step is to understand addiction and the driving forces behind that. Addiction is an awful condition that can really take over someone’s life and body, manipulating the brain and influencing a person’s behaviour.
This will help you understand why your housemate is being the way they are, as well as giving you a bit of insight into when you should perhaps support them or avoid them.
Have a plan if things escalate
You never know quite what you’re going to get with an addict. Behaviour can be hugely sporadic and change in a matter of seconds. There can be extreme volatility involved with addiction, so have a response plan or backup plan if things do start to become too much.
When intoxicated, that person may become dangerous or unbearable, and ultimately that can hugely affect your own personal safety and not to mention your studies. If you can have your own support network of friends and family you can escape to, then that can be helpful, while also don’t be afraid to report it to the relevant authorities, including the police.
Keep your money and belongings safe
Addiction can lead to actions that people wouldn’t usually wish to take, and you’re significantly more likely to fall into the likes of theft in order to get your next hit. For you as a housemate of a person addicted, then that could see you suffer, including having any stashes of funds stolen.
In most cases, you’ll grow to really care about your housemate, so encouraging them to seek help is the best thing you can do. They may not listen, but if you can address the situation with the facts, including how they are affecting you, as well as options for treatment, then they are much more likely to listen to you and get the help they need from a rehab clinic or even at the college itself.