Archive for the ‘Success Stories’ Category


Marijuana Abuse

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

I have been roommates with my friend Jerome for about six months.  We both are in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin.  Despite the fact that we are opposite genders, we do not date each other, and live together as roommates to share the cost of rent and utilities.  When I agreed to room with Jerome, I knew that he smoked marijuana.  At the time, I didn’t think this was a terrible thing.  Many students smoke it and maintain good grades and don’t seem to be involved with anything else illegal.  I wasn’t really thinking it was an issue until I started to notice some changes.

At first, maybe once every two or three weeks, I would come home late and find Jerome and a bunch of other guys laughing in the living room.  The laughter would go on for some time and I could smell the marijuana smoke.  I always just said “hi” and went to bed.  In the past few months, I have noticed his usage escalating.  Now, if I come home to fix supper, Jerome is often there smoking marijuana by himself in his room.  I also noticed as of late that laughter seems to only occur when the friends are over. When Jerome is under the influence alone, he is usually critical and cranky.  If I talk to him and mention a person, he has something negative to say.  Since he plays on the interdepartmental softball team, I mentioned that this girl Courtney was signing up to play and he said that now they’ll surely lose.  I mentioned someone else I ran into and he said that girl was stuck-up and slutty.  Jerome wasn’t like this when we first started being friends.  Otherwise, I never would have agreed to room with him!

I am trying to figure out what is going on with him.  Is this mood change due to the pot?  I looked on-line and found on that “in some cases high quantity users can experience feelings of anxiety, depression and be seriously unwell.  Long-term use of cannabis may affect thinking, emotions and feelings.”  Unfortunately, I could not find a website describing the exact symptoms I have noticed with Jerome.  However, the same site did say that the psychological effects of marijuana were highly individualized.

In the midst of all of this, I talked to an acquaintance of mine who knows us both.  He is a former heroin addict and is on the custodial staff at our school.  I told him about Jerome and asked his advice on what to do.  I thought perhaps Mr. Jones would be willing to do an intervention with me and others we could summon.  He said that I need to move out quickly and not look back because if drugs would be found by the authorities in our co-apartment, I would be in just as much legal trouble as Jerome, even if I am not there while they are being consumed!  He said Jerome would have to formally state that I had nothing to do with the drugs, otherwise I would be just as accountable as he because both of our names are on the lease!  Mr. Jones didn’t know the exact laws and if they are applicable here in Madison, WI, but he said that’s how it was in Chicago in the 60s.  Basically, I needed to get out. Perhaps, in fact, Jerome needs to get into a rehab center–it’s not like he needs to go to a heroin rehab, but maybe he needs some kind of help.

I still have concern for Jerome, but my main thoughts are for my own welfare.  So, I told Jerome that things just weren’t working out and asked if he could move out.  He actually was relieved by the idea and had been wanting to move in with friends that were more fun!  He just didn’t know how to tell me what a drag I am.  I am still upset that Jerome put me in this situation and I don’t want to be friends with him any more.  Yet still, I feel like I should have mentioned my concerns to him. I’m sure that there are polite and caring ways to say that he might consider going to one of our Wisconsin drug rehabs.  I will try and work up my courage to tell him that he needs to lay off the pot that it is affecting him and he is not being fun.