My Roommate is an Addict, How Do I Help Them?

It can be tough to deal with a roommate with drug abuse problems. You may feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells and may not know what to do or how to help. This guide will give you some tips on how to support your roommate and help them get the treatment they need.

Challenges of sharing a room with an addict

It's hard to live with a roommate who struggles with drug abuse for several reasons:

1. It can be dangerous. If your roommate is using drugs, there's a risk that they could overdose or have an accident.

2. It can be disruptive. You might not have a good night's sleep if your roommate is up all night using drugs or attempts to stop using and end up with signs and symptoms of withdrawal. 

3. It can be expensive. If your roommate is constantly buying drugs, they may not have enough money to pay their share of the rent.

4. Addiction can also lead to erratic behavior, making it difficult to predict what might happen next. And if there are children in the home, they may be exposed to things that no child should have to see.

5. Finally, it can be emotionally draining. It's hard watching someone you care about spiral out of control, and there's always the worry that they could relapse.

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What to do when your roommate is an addict

Living with a person who has a physical dependence on drugs or alcohol can be difficult. However, it is possible to make it work if both parties are committed to making it happen. Here are some things you can do to make it work.

Have an Honest Discussion

First, try to honest discussion with your roommate about the situation. It can be difficult to bring up the topic, but remember that you're doing this because you care about the person and their wellbeing. Explain how their addiction affects you and see if there is anything they are willing to do to change the situation. Here are some tips for how to approach the conversation:

If your roommate is unwilling to change, you may need to consider finding a new place to live. However, if they are willing to seek help for their addiction, you can support them in ways we'll discuss in this article.

Set expectations and boundaries

Setting expectations and boundaries with your addicted roommate is key to maintaining a healthy relationship and living environment. It is important to be upfront about your expectations, such as cleanliness, guests, noise levels, etc. This will help to avoid conflict later on.

It is also important to set boundaries, such as not allowing your roommate to borrow money or use your belongings without permission. Addicts can be manipulative, and it is important to protect yourself. Also, don't be afraid to seek help from a professional if you feel like you are struggling to cope with your roommate's addiction. Addiction is a serious disease, and it is important to get help if you feel overwhelmed.

Build trust

People with substance use disorders often have a hard time trusting those around them, making it hard to provide the support they need. However, building trust is essential if you want to be able to help an addict through recovery. Showing that you are there for them, listening to them, and respecting their boundaries will go a long way towards building trust. Once you have established trust, you will be better positioned to provide the support and assistance that addicts need to recover.

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Communicate honestly

Remember that your roommate is not a bad person, and they are likely struggling with a lot of pain and confusion. Try to communicate honestly with them. Let them know that you are concerned about their health and wellbeing, and offer to help them get the resources they need to get better.

Be prepared to listen to them, and try to understand their point of view. Remember that this is a difficult situation for both of you, but honest communication can help to resolve it.

Reach out for help

Trying to help a friend or family member struggling with addiction can be challenging, emotional, and exhausting. It's important to remember that you can't do it alone.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a chronic disease, and professional help is essential for recovery. Reaching out for support from friends, family, and mental health professionals can give you the strength and guidance you need to weather this difficult journey.

Additionally, there are many resources available to help you better understand addiction and how to best support your loved one. Don't be afraid to ask for help – it could make all the difference in the world.

Convince your roommate to seek treatment

The hardest part of dealing with someone struggling with substance abuse is getting them to admit to using. This is because most of them are in denial about their addiction. Once that is out of their way, it's easier to convince them to seek treatment by letting them know that there are people who care about them and want to help them recover.

Explain that while treatment can be difficult, it is going to be worth it. You should also offer your support and tell them that you will be there for them every step of the way. With patience and understanding, you can convince a drug addict to seek treatment and begin the journey to recovery.

Understand the treatment process

Addiction is a serious medical condition that requires professional treatment. By understanding the treatment process, you can be a valuable source of support for your roommate as they begin their journey to recovery. Addiction treatment typically includes:

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As your roommate goes through treatment, it's important to be understanding and supportive. Remember that addiction is a disease affecting over 23 million people in the United States. But recovery is possible with time and effort.

Addiction treatment works

Addiction is a serious disease that can profoundly affect every aspect of a person's life. If your roommate is abusing alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription drugs, it's important to know that there are treatment options available. Recovery is possible, but it often takes time and effort.

There are many different treatment programs, and the best option for each individual will vary depending on the severity of the addiction and other factors. Common treatment options include inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient therapy, behavioral therapy, 12-step programs, and medication-assisted treatment. No matter what type of treatment is right for you, the most important thing is to reach out for help. With the support of professionals and loved ones, you can begin the journey to recovery.

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Pupil Dilation & Drug Use - What Drugs Cause It?

There are many different signs of drug abuse, some more common than others. Pupil dilation is one of the most common signs of drug abuse

This article will discuss the various drugs that cause pupil dilation and what to look out for if you’re worried that your loved one is abusing or addicted to drugs.

What are pupils?

Pupils are black circles found at the center of each eye. Usually, they constrict (become smaller) or dilate (become more prominent) when the light levels in your surroundings vary. The pupils’ primary function is to direct light to the optic nerve at the back of your eyes (retina), thus allowing you to see.

Eye muscles located in the iris are responsible for pupil dilation. They manipulate pupils and make them adjust depending on the amount of light.

Pupils measure 2-4 millimeters when constricted and about 4-8 millimeters when dilated. Therefore, your pupil size can vary depending on the circumstances.

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What is pupil dilation, and why does it occur?

Pupil dilation after drug abuse occurs when the drugs activate your body’s flight or fight adrenaline response by engaging adrenergic receptors in the brain and serotonin. This results in a chemical reaction that leads to muscle relaxation (mydriasis), making the pupils expand to allow more light in.

Drugs that can cause pupil dilation

Several drugs can alter pupil size since most drug interactions in the body affect neurotransmitters which are your body’s chemical messengers.

Most drugs contain chemicals. Therefore, they cause chemical reactions in your body, affecting neurotransmitters. Since neurotransmitters determine your pupil size, they may dilate after drug use.

There are specific drugs that can cause eye dilation. Most of them are psychotropic substances and stimulants.  

Some common drugs that cause pupils to dilate are:

·       LSD

·       Cocaine

·       Ecstasy

·       Mescaline

·       Amphetamines

·       MDMA

·       Psilocybin

·       SSRI antidepressants

Xanax, a benzodiazepine drug, can also make pupils dilate since it affects the activity of neurotransmitter GABA that relaxes the muscles. Additionally, the stimulant medication used in ADHD treatment, i.e., Adderall and Ritalin, can also cause pupil dilation.

Other drugs, specifically opioids, can cause pinpoint pupils. Pinpoint pupils refer to pupils constricting and failing to respond to light. Sometimes, pinpoint pupils are an overdose symptom. If you notice a heroin user has pinpoint pupils, it would be best to call 911 immediately.

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Marijuana, alcohol, and cocaine cause bloodshot eyes when they expand the blood vessels around the pupils.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has more information on the drugs mentioned above, including the effects of LSD. 

How is pupil dilation determined?

When there is suspicion of drug abuse, there is a unique tool that officers or medical practitioners can use to determine pupil dilation and the most likely cause.

First responders use the Drug Recognition Card to determine whether or not an individual is sober. The International Association of Chiefs of Police invented the chart to quickly determine the pupil size difference between sober people and those high on drugs

The Drug Recognition Card can also help first responders determine which drug is responsible for the dilation. It has a list of various drugs and a pupil dilation scale which helps officers gauge the extent of pupil dilation.

Other possible causes of pupil dilation

Besides light and drug use, pupils can dilate for the following reasons:

·       Pupils can dilate if you focus on objects far away from you.

·       If you get a concussion, one of your pupils may dilate. One of them will appear more prominent.

·       Emotions. How you feel can make your pupils dilate. Most times, pupil dilation is a sign of endorphin release. If you’re happy, your pupils will appear more prominent.

·       Anisocoria. Anisocoria refers to a medical condition where one pupil is bigger than the other.

·       Iritis. Iritis is an eye condition caused by inflammation of the iris.

·       Prescription medication. Some prescription medicines can cause pupil dilation. They include antihistamines, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, anticholinergics, decongestants, mydriatics, benzodiazepines, dopamine precursors, and stimulants.

Are there long-term effects of pupil dilation?

If your pupils dilate due to drug abuse, you may wonder whether they would remain that way for good.

The pupils often go back to their original size when the drug side effects fade. However, there are a few instances when the pupils become dilated during the withdrawal period. This is common in individuals who abuse opioids.

Currently, there aren’t enough studies to conclude whether or not drug use can result in permanent pupil dilation.

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How to deal with pupil dilation

When your pupils dilate due to drug use or for any other reason, it can be uncomfortable since the pupils let in more light. Everything may appear overwhelmingly bright, and you may be sensitive to most if not all sources of light.

You may need to wear protective eye gear to shield yourself from light. This way, you will be more comfortable walking around and doing day-to-day tasks. Photochromic lenses and sunglasses will come in handy. Sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun’s rays, while photochromic lenses automatically adjust your light  levels.

If you’re worried about pupil dilation, you can contact an eye specialist who will examine you and advise you on eye health.

Other signs of drug use

Although pupil dilation can be a sign of drug abuse, you cannot conclude that individuals have abused drugs by simply looking at their pupil size.

You may need to look out for other symptoms of drug abuse. The most common ones include; restlessness, unexplained mood changes, loss of appetite, increased heart rate, tremors, high blood pressure, heavy sweating, and change in sleep patterns. The individual’s performance at work or school may also be affected.

If you notice your loved one has any symptoms of drug abuse, it may be time to seek professional help.

Seek professional help

At More Than Rehab, we acknowledge that abusing alcohol or drugs can have many side effects. Drug abuse affects your life and that of your loved ones. You are also likely to develop a substance use disorder.

To start your healing journey, contact us today. Other than addiction, we deal with co-occurring disorders like depression, self-harm, bipolar disorder, and ADHD. We will walk with you every step of the way and help you turn your life