How to tell if your neighbour is abusing drugs

We want the right to blow our minds, as crazy as it seems.

That’s a line from one of my favourite songs by Placebo, and yes, many argue for that right. I’ve seen loads of memes, arguments and Facebook statuses about our rights to do all kinds of things to ourselves.

And it’s true… You have those rights, or else you should. Whatever happens behind closed doors and between consenting adults is nobody else’s business, and even if you are my neighbour, it has nothing to do with me. I don’t care what kinky shit you are into. I don’t care if the women/men you bring home are the same or different ones every night or if you have one or two partners at a time, or even if they are prostitutes. I don’t care if you play music or watch porn while you do your thing, because it is none of my business.

But I fucking well do care when it is 3AM and you are playing music at full blast and talking even louder than the music. I care because I need my sleep, and I love my sleep. And doing that in an apartment complex, doing that on the balcony right next door to my  bedroom is selfish and thoughtless. The argument that you have the right to do whatever you want to yourself is fine, but the reality doesn’t work out that way, because when you are wired, you are not quiet. When you disturb other people, your argument falls apart because then whatever you are doing is not only affecting yourself, it is affecting others, and you do not have the right to disturb other people in the middle of the night.

To answer the question posed by the title, there is a significant difference between people who abuse alcohol versus drugs (maybe with alcohol)… Drinkers tend to shout and get unruly; junkies tend to talk for too long and too loud, in annoying never-ending monologues. They raise their voices, but sound anxious or tense.

I’m not sure what to do about my neighbour. He doesn’t do this every night, but I know the difference between a normal date and a drug-fuelled one. Drugs lead you to be talking at the top of your voice in the early hours of the morning, rather than doing more useful things, like fucking or sleeping or letting me fucking sleep. I’ll probably talk to him this evening, but if it happens again, I’ll call the cops.


About Jerome

I am a senior C# developer in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a recovering addict, who spent nearly eight years using methamphetamine. I write on my recovery blog about my lessons learned and sometimes give advice to others who have made similar mistakes, often from my viewpoint as an atheist, and I also write some C# programming articles on my programming blog.
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5 Responses to How to tell if your neighbour is abusing drugs

  1. bbnewsab says:

    Jerome, you wrote: “Drugs lead you to be talking at the top of your voice in the early hours of the morning…”

    Why is it so?

    And: Is it a monologue or a dialogue?

    And: Do you mean talking with, also, a high pitch or just talking loudly? Or maybe both?

    Anyhow, an interesting (as usual) blog post! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jerome says:

      I wrote this one because my neighbour was playing music and talking with his new girlfriend at 3:30 AM and I am pissed off…

      I don’t know if he is using drugs, but it is an educated guess. Meth keeps people alert and awake, but also anxious. Coke and crack do the same, as far as I know. So people who are up all night on drugs, rather than drinking, tend to talk in anxious tones, unlike drunk people who tend to party and then sing and shout. It’s really obvious when people are drunk; less so when they are high because they sound almost normal, apart from being awake too long and sounding tense, and carrying on talking far longer than seems normal.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jerome says:

      Actually we’ve had bad luck with neighbours recently. This is my next-door neighbour, and he’s a nice guy who coaches kids soccer fora living. He’s invited Josh to attend his soccer lessons too, but we declined because the one practice is early on Sunday mornings, the only time I get to sleep in. I’m rambling… Anyway, he is a good guy, and doesn’t do this often. But when he does, he goes to extremes…

      Previously we had other neighbours who were definitely on drugs. I first noticed the guy because he sat on his phone on the balcony around 10PM, talking too loud and with enough anxiety for me to notice that he was high. (I have a talent for spotting them… me and everybody else who used to use has this talent, that is… In this case it was something I knew most people would miss, but having been there for so long myself, that meth-edge to his voice was obvious.) Then he lost his job, had two other free-loaders move in, and stuck around for a few months without paying rent. Eventually they were evicted. And this guy was a lawyer by profession… but clearly a junkie who got involved with other worse junkies.

      It sucks living next to anyone who uses drugs, in a complex, as they are too close. I’d like to think I wasn’t as bad, but I could be wrong… When my ex and I first met, around 2006, we lived in a complex and were up on meth all night, having a great time. I don’t believe in karma of course, but…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. bbnewsab says:

    Thank you for all this information, Jerome.

    I once had a neighbor who used to be up at night, playing music on the a very high volume..

    Later he was evicted. And I learned, afterwards, he was a drug addict.

    I can understand drugs are able to change the circadian rhythm. But why the high volume? Are noisy sounds maybe meant to decrease feelings of anxiety or what? Or a method to silence inner voices? What do you think?

    My neighbor never shouted or yelled at nights. But he terrorized us all by playing his favorite (?) music on such a high volume. He was a lone wolf, so the explanation isn’t that he had visitors in his flat unless he experienced imaginary visitors (something I know nothing about).

    One night I got up and rang his doorbell. He never opened the door. But he perhaps didn’t hear the doorbell? I don’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I lived under a meth addict once or at least I assumed that was his drug of choice as a continuous stream of techno music would rattle my roof ALL NIGHT LONG. And one day he wouldn’t come out of his apartment, and his girlfriend I presume, was yelling at him from outside, ” I know you are using again!”

    He always seemed to use alone, so I can’t attest to the loud voices but the all night solo dance party seemed drug fueled.

    Liked by 1 person

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