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Housemate will addiction problems

Hi. I was renting a house on my own but I sublet the spare room to my friend the past couple months. We get on well. She’s not here too often though. She’s always out partying, drinking, taking drugs, then dips into depression and doesn’t leave her room for days. She has bi-polar disorder and she doesn’t always take her medication and obviously the recreational drugs don’t help. I don’t want to live with her anymore to be honest. I can afford the place on my own. We have discussions about her making better choices but it doesn’t happen. I don’t like seeing her in a toxic cycle and I’m getting frustrated. I’m losing my respect for her. I know substance abuse is a complicated problem and to a degree she doesn’t have control over it. I want to support her as best I can but I’m not very experienced in dealing with someone with drug or alcohol addiction. I’ve been considering taking a hard love approach and telling her that if she doesn’t start taking steps forward and making an effort to change, that I’ll ask her to leave. She has parents who she can live with quite easily. She goes there often anyway and they would welcome her back, so she wouldn’t be kicked to the curb so to speak. Is this a fair way to go about things? Am I being harsh? I don’t want to hurt her or make her go in an even deeper downward spiral. My home is very sacred to me. I don’t have family support and so providing a safe, healthy, secure environment for myself is a priority because I don’t have anyone to fall back on. If it’s jeopardised, I’m left in a difficult situation. What should I do? How do I do the right thing by both her and myself? 

Thanks in advance for any advice or support 😊

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Re: Housemate will addiction problems

Hey @Shanti11, that sounds like an incredibly complicateds situation and I can really understand why it's such a difficult decision for you. It honestly sounds like moving back home with her parents might not just be a good option for you, but it might also be really important for her. I agree that the cycle that she's currently in sounds very self destructive, and so it might be really good for her to live with her family for a bit and get the more dedicated support that her parents would be able to provide. It's also really really important to look after your own mental health in a situation like this, especially after you outlined how important your living space is for your own wellbeing and security. Have you thought about how you'd broach this topic with her yet?

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Re: Housemate will addiction problems

I think she would feel that she was being done wrong by and that I was a bad friend.
She has told me in conversation that she thinks that when she’s living with her parents her mental health is worse and addiction stronger because she’s not as productive and feels stuck. I asked her what her parents think of her issues and she said they don’t understand it and don’t seem to grasp the gravity of how bad it is, they’re kind of in denial about it.

It’ll be a difficult conversation with her. I hope that the idea of her moving back with her parents might be motivation for her to get better. If I don’t see a change within a couple weeks, then clearly the current situation isn’t working. If after I’ve made it clear I’m losing patience and I’ve given her a chance to prove to both herself and me that she’s capable of recovery, or at least the first steps towards it, and she doesn’t, then I hope she’ll understand where I’m coming from. I want to help her but I don’t want to help someone who won’t help themselves.
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Re: Housemate will addiction problems

That makes a lot of sense, you might be able to suggest that if she's living at home, her drug consumption will probably go down, or her parents will be confronted with the issue and have to acknowledge it.

 

The other option, though its definitely a difficult and frustrating one, is that you move to another place. Is this an option thats possible for you at all?

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Re: Housemate will addiction problems

Hey @Shanti11, I think this is a really tough situation now. I think the first thing need to be kept in mind is your own mental state. If her situation really influences yours, you need to take care of and protect yourself first. After that, you can think about helping her. But I would not recommend using a "hard love approach" because I think it might make her emotionally unstable. Instead, I think you can discuss with her about how she will influence your mental state and environment and try to make her understand your situation.
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Re: Housemate will addiction problems

hey @Shanti11  hopefully you've had the chance to speak to her and sort things out. let us know. If you need a little more support then I recommend that maybe you could find a different friend to live with and just explain that you need some space and a change of scenery. If not try moving in with some family that way you have somewhere to stay. If you want to help her then maybe try finding local support group but don't stress yourself if she doesn't fix her problems immediately just remember people need to learn in their own time. Hope that helps a little.