Dear Ethel | Issue 20

Dear Ethel | Issue 20

Hugs Not Drugs

Dear Ethel,

One of my flatmates has been doing a lot of drugs recently and I don’t really like flatting with him anymore. I’m also really worried about him. He used to be really chill but not anymore. He’s got these new ‘friends’ that spend heaps of time at our place and a couple of them are seriously scary. I don’t feel safe when they’re around. Plus I’m worried that if we ever got raided by the cops I could get done for drugs, even though I don’t use. What can I do?

-Don’t Arrest Me


The first thing to be aware of is that you would not be in any danger of being charged for possession or use just because you happen to live in the flat with someone who is using. However, that being said, if someone decides to stash some stuff in your room while you’re not there, you would be implicated. So, make sure you keep your room (and vehicle) secure at all times! Obviously if there’s a raid on the flat, you will be questioned, but if you’re clean, there won’t be further repercussions for you.

You might want to consider talking to your flatmate though, especially about how you feel when certain mates are around, or about how he is when he’s using (but don’t have that conversation when he’s under the influence). You should be able to relax in your own flat. You might want to let him know that you are concerned for him, not just in terms of possible police charges but also how it might impact on future university studies should the University become aware of it. 

In terms of your safety, this is paramount! You can call the police if you feel your safety is threatened. You may not want to do that because you don’t want to drop your flatmate into any trouble, but please don’t let that stop you from seeking help if you are in an unsafe situation. It is your flatmate’s choice to do drugs, it is not yours and it should not limit your life experience. 

We’d be happy to talk this through with you confidentially in person and we can also help if you decide that you’d rather be out of the flat altogether. Feel free to drop in and see an advocate at 5 Ethel B! 

Whole lotta love, 

-Ethel xox

This article first appeared in Issue 20, 2016.
Posted 12:54pm Sunday 21st August 2016 by Student Support.