There may be three occasions when a person lives under the same roof with someone else: those are, 1) As a child, when you lived with your family; 2) As a young adult, in which you have a roommate to help pay the rent and utilities, and 3) Once you’ve married and started a family.

For the purposes of this article, we will concentrate on occasion #2. And why #2? Because the second option is one in which we grow exponentially from adolescence to adulthood. It is where we learn responsibility, both for ourselves and others.

The second option is also where we learn of real-world scenarios, like for instance, that our roommate may have a drug addiction issue.

Having a supposed addict for a roommate can bring up many thoughts and emotions from fear to paranoia, then ultimately, anger. Nevertheless, if you suspect your roommate might have a substance abuse issue, you will no doubt have to be vigilant. But just as well, you should be careful and understanding.


Granted, having a roommate whom you suspect of drug addiction can be a very tough subject to broach. The issue that needs to be kept in mind is firstly, he or she is a roommate. Yes, on certain occasions they may be your friend, but in the long run they are not a boyfriend nor a girlfriend nor a family member. And because of this, your plans to confront your roommate about a possible addiction should be carefully thought out.

A roommate may not be the sort of person you just go on up to and bluntly ask if it’s weed (or worse) that you smell coming from their bedroom. You instead have to approach your roommate’s issue with evidence and reasoning while maintaining you are doing so out of concern as a friend.

In short, wait and collect the facts. Your job in this is to be calm while also being vigilant. Assemble everything that can to support your theory regarding your roommate. Sure, it may be a bit creepy you doing so, but you do have yourself to protect in this situation. So be aware of the warning signs, some of which could be the following:


Is your half of the rent the only half that’s on time each month? Just as likely, are you the one person in your living arrangement who seems to go to work each day, while your roommate just hangs out at home?

This can be a telltale sign that something drug-related can be going on behind your roommate’s closed door. Sure, maybe at one point you might have withstood the irresponsibility of your roommate, but now that half the rent is either late or not paid at all it could have an effect on your life. For instance, if you signed a joint lease, your roommate’s inability to come up with his/her share of the rent, resulting in a default for the month, can affect your FICO® credit score which can have long-term implications if you one day want to buy a house or take out a loan.

In addition to the rent, ask your roommate about their job situation. Find out if they’re actually working. If they’re not working, ask them why. Don’t let “I’m good for it, bro!” be the only answer you receive regarding your roommate’s part of the rent and their work status.


Have you literally not seen your roommate for days? And once they are present, are they moody and appear disheveled?

This can be another sign that something might not be cool with what’s going on in your shared apartment. Be concerned yet wary at the same time. Ask your roommate if they’re okay. Show you care, because you do, and ask them if there is anything you can do for them.

Remember, timing is key. There is a moment to accuse, and a moment to simply inquire. You don’t want to overstep your bounds or make your living arrangements uncomfortable. But you also don’t want your living conditions to escalate to…


If items that belong to you, such as money, jewelry, artwork, or even clothing go missing, it’s truly time to confront your roommate about your items’ whereabouts, and as importantly, your roommate’s health.

Mention the length of time with which you’ve watched your roommate decline into their addiction. Try to offer as much help as you can to help and support to your roommate.

To realize that he or she might soon seek their own help to end their drug addiction and potentially save their lives, can be worth as much, if not more, than the back rent and anything that was taken from you without you knowing.

Sure, it may be a stretch, but if you suspect your roommate of drug addiction, try to address them in the same way you’d address a family member living under the same roof as you. Also attempt to address your roommate’s substance problem as soon as possible. The idea here is to get a healthy roommate in a healthy living environment. You really wouldn’t, and shouldn’t move out because of your roommate’s issues. Be supportive and understanding instead.

If you or a loved one have an addiction to alcohol, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.


My Roommate, the Drug Addict