Knowing the Signs of Heroin Use

Learn about the symptoms and signs of heroin use and try to help a loved one struggling with addiction: What Are the Signs of Heroin Use?

Before we can start taking an in-depth look at the signs of heroin use, we need to look at what heroin is, and what effects it has on the body. Heroin is an extremely potent opioid, which is famous for its sedative and euphoric effects on users. Unfortunately, there is also a major risk of addiction and overdose with heroin use. In addition, there are a number of physical signs of heroin use that are generally related to a decline in overall physical health.

What’s even more alarming about heroin use, is its rapid growth across the country. This has sparked conversation about the so-called opioid epidemic, leading many to wonder what the signs of heroin use ar and if someone close to them may be using the opiate without anyone’s knowledge.

Symptoms and Signs of Heroin Use

While the most common and definitive sign of heroin addiction, is the continued use of the substance despite any and all negative consequences, there are a number of signs of heroin use that someone can keep an eye out for in their loved ones. While none of the signs are concrete evidence of addiction, they can help concerned friends or family figure out if it’s necessary to speak to someone about their possible substance abuse problems. Heroin is an extremely serious drug, with nearly thirteen thousand deaths as a result of heroin overdoses in 2015 alone.

 Physical Signs of Heroines Use:

  • Sedated Behavior or Drowsiness
  • Trouble Focusing, Irregular Confusion
  • Constricted Pupils
  • Slowed, Labored, or Depressed Breathing
  • Nodding Off, Trouble Staying Awake, or Loss of Consciousness
  • Trouble Using the Bathroom or Constipation

Behavioral Heroin Addiction Signs

  • Unexplained Disappearances, Absences, or Neglected Responsibilities
  • Irregular or Dramatic Mood Swings
  • An Excess of Empty Pill Bottles
  • Isolation, or Irregular Antisocial Behavior
  • Sudden and Uncharacteristic Financial Problems

When we discuss the dangers of heroin use, and the heroin addiction signs associated with use, the most common thing that comes to people’s minds, is the signs of heroin withdrawal. This is largely due to pop-culture references and opiates’ reputation for terrible withdrawal symptoms. While both of these things are seemingly unrelated to the topic at hand, heroin withdrawal symptoms can be one of the best signs of heroin use to keep any eye out for.

Signs of Heroin Withdrawal:

  • Migraines and Headaches
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Diarrhea and Irregular Bowel Movements
  • Excessive Sweating and Irregular Body Temperatures
  • Exhaustion and Fatigue
  • Anxiety and Nervousness
  • Trouble Sleeping and Insomnia

If You Have Heroin Addiction Signs Why Should You Seek Treatment?

Heroin addiction treatment starts with a consultation and counseling with an on-staff psychologist. These sort of counseling session generally start with questions, like, how did you start taking opiates, how long have you been taking opiates, when was the last time you took the drug, and how did you usually get the drug?

These questions help heroin abuse treatment centers create an initial detox plan, and give them a general guideline for starting your recovery process. Of course, this will not be the only psychology or therapy treatments, but there needs to be a jumping off point to kick-off heroin addiction treatment. Depending on the intensity of the signs of opioid addiction and the signs of opiate withdrawal, recovering addicts may need medications to help create a more comfortable detox. For example, suboxone, methadone, and buprenorphine are common drugs used to assist patients who are withdrawing from opioids. While these medications can be extremely helpful, it’s important to only use these under strict medical supervision, as they are still prescription medications, which present their own benefits and risks. After going through detox, the true recovery can begin, with hard focuses on relapse prevention and creating healthier, more effective coping skills to assist patients as they try to obtain a life free of drugs.

If you or someone you love is showing heroin addiction signs, or any of the physical signs of heroin use, then treatment may be the difference between a healthy life of recovery, or a life of pain and addiction struggles. Don’t let addiction take a hold on your life, choose life, choose sobriety.


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.