Moving on towards college and training for a career can be a frightening, yet exciting time. One of the more anxious parts of this new part of your life is moving into a room with a person you have never met before. For, at least the next year, you will have to share the space. What if that person uses and abuses drugs? Even if you never have or ever will try drugs are there possible negative effects of their abuses? These effects are commonly known as second-hand effects. This may not be as easy to see but is much more common than most would believe. Alcohol consumption in college is very popular. What are the chances that your roommate drinks too much one night, vomits on the floor and needs help? Pretty high, right? Who is around to help them? This is a normal incident that happens weekly in colleges across the nation, so what do you do if your roommate is abusing drugs? Ignore the Problem The most popular strategy is to ignore the issue, which is also the least effective. When you ignore that problem nothing changes. You are open to all of the negative effects of second-hand addiction. By ignoring the situation you ultimately are enabling this behavior. By doing this you are limiting yourself to being the clean-up person and punching bag. This co-dependent behavior is dangerous for a multitude of reasons. Ignoring the problem is not the right thing to do when dealing with a roommate who is abusing drugs. Communicate and Set Boundaries Boundaries are set for two main reasons. The first being that you should not have to suffer from the addiction as well. Most people do not realize the torment that their substance abuse plays on others. When approaching this conversation it is important to know what you want. If it is no drugs in the apartment or no drug use in the apartment, be specific. Let them know what your breaking point is and what the consequences will be. It is important that you are able to carry on as happy and healthy as possible. The second reason for setting boundaries is so the drug abuser can get help, if necessary. You deserve to have a safe and healthy place to lay your head and continue your education. You have committed a considerable amount of time and money to get a better education and no one should be able to take that away from you. It is essential to stick to the parameters of the boundaries. If you say you will leave the apartment, kick the roommate out or speak to the authorities. Contact the Proper Authorities If you have this conversation with your roommate and they are unable or unwilling to agree or follow the boundaries you set, then it is time to move forward. Although, it is not the easiest decision to make. If your roommate is dealing meth from the apartment, then yes it is easy call the cops, but if they have parties every weekend, then it is much more complicated. Most colleges do not allow for alcohol consumption on campus, therefore the conversation you have with the roommate will include a conversation that you will have with the RA. Remember, you do not have to live in an uncomfortable or counterproductive home. Speak with your roommate about the situation. Most likely to will understand, after all they are also in college, and you will be able to find a solution.