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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, September 24, 2023

College 101: Hope And Overcoming Helplessness

I could use some real advice. My roommate has an older brother in New Jersey who’s had a pretty rough time after dropping out of college. She said he quit to join a business venture with an old high school friend. They were only about four months into it when he decided he didn’t want to do it anymore.

As you can imagine, their family wasn’t too thrilled about it, but they tried to be supportive. He bounced around taking mostly part-time work and side-gigs. Nothing about what he was doing was glamorous. Then, during the holiday break, she said that her brother was acting strangely but wouldn’t admit to anything different.

Last night, her parents told her that he’d been fired from his part-time job at Starbucks. She said her parents were really concerned about him. Now, she’s under the impression that he might be using drugs, but she has no idea how to prove it or confront him. I recommended an intervention, only because it’s the first thing that came to mind.

Are there other things she should consider?

There are honestly few things more difficult than witnessing a beloved friend or family member succumb to drug abuse. Recovery is most often a long, arduous, and uncertain journey. The psychological and emotional turmoils can be overwhelmingly erosive to even the most resilient souls. Knowing all of these things ahead of time is critical to an appropriate mindset.

You might begin by reviewing these eight ways to help a friend in need. When it comes to recovery, there’s only so much that friends and family can to do. More importantly, both you and your roommate should grasp exactly what you cannot do. Having a realistic understanding of the context will prepare you for the long road ahead.

Considering whether or not to host an intervention is no simple matter. Experts at the Mayo Clinic have already published a practical guide to approaching one. Spend time perusing those suggestions carefully. Another sound strategy is to review the drug abuse resources made available by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Your roommate should also be aware that how she frames the confrontation can have a tremendous impact on the eventual outcome. In other words, a compassionate approach (as opposed to condemnation) is more likely to have favorable results. When the conversation inevitably happens, it’ll be equally vital to confirm what specific drugs your roommate’s brother is abusing. Having a substance dependency is always detrimental, but certain drugs are much more dangerous than others.

One of the worst scenarios is him admitting to abusing opioids. You’re probably already aware of the fact that there’s currently an opioid epidemic sweeping the nation. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have estimated that deaths from prescription opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999. These statistics are devastating. People are being subjected to a tragic amount of preventable suffering.

One of the best-case scenarios is him agreeing to join a support group. Your roommate would be prudent to read a guide to help get someone you love into rehab. She can anticipate at least a minor degree of resistance. The most crucial aspect to remember is that he ought to volunteer for rehab rather than feel externally obligated.

“I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.” -- Charlotte Brontë

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