Becoming Familiar with the Signs of Heroin Addiction is the First Step to Getting a Loved one Help

Dope. Horse. Junk. Smack. Have you heard these terms before? These are slang names for heroin, in case you were not aware. Individuals who abuse heroin typically inject, snort, and smoke the drug. Maybe the individual likes to mix heroin with crack cocaine – this is called a speedball or speedballing. If you would like information on heroin or the signs of heroin addiction, connect with the staff at White Sands Fort Myers at (877) 855-3470.

Heroin is in the opioid class of drugs. Opioids are made from morphine, which is a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seeds of the opium poppy plant. When heroin enters the brain, it changes back into morphine. Opioid receptors are located in the brain stem (and in other parts of the brain) and control important functions like arousal, blood pressure, and breathing. Heroin takes over the brain fast and binds to opioid receptors – specifically, those that control pleasure and pain.

7 Signs of Heroin Addiction

If you suspect someone in your life of abusing heroin, it is imperative that you become familiar with physical signs of heroin use. Common signs include:

  • Little pupils
  • Constipation
  • Wearing long sleeves
  • Slurred speech
  • Change in appetite
  • Messy appearance
  • Paraphernalia

Of all the signs of heroin addiction, covering the body in hot weather is very telling. People usually shoot up and down their arms, or when they run out of space, they move to another part of the body with good veins. Other signs of opiate use include sleepy eyes, slow breathing, flushed skin, dry mouth, clouded mental functioning, and vomiting.

Signs of heroin addiction include paraphernalia. Heroin paraphernalia usually includes burnt spoons, rubber tubing, syringes, tiny baggies, tan/whitish powder residue, and glass pipes. Using heroin, over time, causes infection of the heart lining and valves, collapsed veins (from shooting up), stomach cramping, issues and complications of the lungs.

Since this drug is commonly delivered into the system by a syringe, there is a risk of contracting infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. The reason being is that people who are trying to get high on heroin, are not too concerned about their health, let alone sharing needles.

Physical signs of heroin use additionally include overdose. Overdose is the body reacting to too much drugs in the system. Overdose can and definitely does lead to death. Do not think it will not happen to you, because it can. When an individual overdoses on heroin, breathing is slowed or stopped, which decreases the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain. This condition is called hypoxia and can lead to death, coma, or permanent brain damage. Have you overdosed on heroin before? It may be time to get help. Save yourself before it is too late.

Heroin is a highly addictive substance. Once you begin using it, you start to develop a tolerance, and thus, the path to addiction is paved. Withdrawal symptoms of heroin include:

  • Cravings
  • Bone and muscle pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sleep issues
  • Uncontrollable leg movements
  • Cold flashes
  • Goosebumps

These symptoms may begin as early as hours after taking the drug. Heroin produces immediate feeling of euphoria, a rush, so to speak. A warm and calm feeling is experienced along with a heavy feeling in the arms and legs. Additionally, self-confidence is increased during this period.

When pregnant women abuse heroin, they not only cause harm to themselves, but to their unborn fetus. The baby could be born with low birth weight and NAS. Neonatal abstinence syndrome is when the baby is born with a dependence on heroin and will experience withdrawal symptoms. This is so horrific – if you are a pregnant woman who abuses heroin, please, get help immediately. If not for yourself – for the baby.

If you still have question about the signs of opiate use, contact White Sands Fort Myers for further information. You can reclaim your life – heroin does not have to dictate you. With the caring addiction specialists here, you are sure to receive the best treatment possible.




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.