Confronting a Roommate Who is Abusing Cold Medications

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Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Girlfriends relaxing in park, horizontalWhether you have had one roommate for a short period of time or have lived with the same roommate for years, each of your living habits likely impacts each other in one form or another.

Even if you and your roommate are the closest of friends and get along perfectly, there may be habits or behaviors your roommate exhibits that can be frustrating, confusing, or even difficult to live with.

Being Aware of Suspicious Drug Behaviors

Dealing with confrontation is never an easy situation, but if it is something that is negatively influencing you and your roommate, effectively working through difficult issues that may potentially arise is essential for a healthy living situation and ongoing relationship.

Unfortunately, abusing or misusing over the counter medications is a much more common behavior than people may be aware of, and if left unaddressed, this can lead to potentially harmful consequences to the user.

Because over the counter cold medications are easy to access, many individuals seek out these substances as a way to get high or simply create a euphoria as a temporary escape from their reality. If at any point, you notice your roommate using abnormal quantities of over the counter cold medications, particularly when not sick or ill, this can be a red flag that these substances are misused.

Other behavioral signs might include isolation, mood swings, personality shifts, irritability and more. You may notice several bottles or packages of over the counter medications or trash from these items after frequent use.

Helpful Recommendations for Approaching Your Roommate

Happy marriage at the and of therapy sessionIf you suspect your roommate is abusing or misusing over the counter cold medications, consider discussing your concerns in a safe environment, openly and honestly.

Talk during a time that you are both able to give the discussion your full attention, and in a place that you both are comfortable in, such as your shared living space.

Using “I” statements is helpful in conveying a concern, such as “I feel worried about you when I see these behaviors”, or so on.

While it may seem easier to ignore the issue at hand, your voice of reason and concern can be a wake up call to a roommate who may be struggling with over the counter cold medication abuse.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What do you think are some of the fears that preventing individuals from having helpful confrontations with loved ones?

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About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on February 21, 2016
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