Recognize The Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Use
Heroin is a powerfully addictive and illegal opioid substance. If you suspect that someone you care about uses the substance, it’s important to understand the signs of use that can point to heroin addiction. If you’re not aware of the signs of use regarding heroin, but you observe a loved one displaying personality changes and other disturbing issues, it’s vital to become more educated about the signs and symptoms of heroin use.
Signs a Loved One May Be Using Heroin
Before assuming a possible heroin addiction, here are some signs a loved one is using heroin:
- Marks on the Body: Heroin is often injected directly into the veins using a hypodermic needle to achieve a quicker onset of the drug’s effects. People will often have “track marks” from the needle being repeatedly used in their arms, fingers, toes, or legs. Someone who has been “shooting up” heroin will try to hide these marks by wearing long-sleeved clothing or long pants, even in warmer climates.
- Appearance Changes: Your loved one may begin to show signs of rapid weight loss due to heroin use. Dilated pupils and bruising on the skin can also point to signs of use.
- Declining Work or School Performance: Because addiction to heroin decreases the ability to focus, a person in school will begin to have poorer grades, while an adult with a job may miss days of work as they prioritize their time and efforts towards drug use.
- Loss of Interest in Activities: If your loved one is suddenly disinterested in the hobbies and activities they used to enjoy, this could be a sign of heroin abuse. When paired with a lack of motivation to participate in activities with family and friends, this withdrawal from socializing can signal mental health issues that might be attributed to heroin use.
- Behaving Deceptively: Signs a loved one is using heroin will also include lying and stealing from friends and family to support their heroin habit. Borrowing money often and even getting in trouble with the law can point to heroin use.
- Drug Paraphernalia: If you find spoons, needles, pipes, lighters, aluminum foil, small plastic baggies, rubber tubing, and other items associated with heroin use hidden somewhere around your loved one’s belongings, these are signs of heroin use.
Symptoms of Heroin Use
If a loved one is abusing heroin, you should note some symptoms that often accompany this type of substance use disorder. These include:
- Changes in Physical Appearance: The types of clothes worn and having a clean body, hair and teeth will suddenly become uninteresting to someone abusing heroin as grooming takes a back seat to finding and using drugs.
- Mood Swings: Your loved one may show signs of excitement and agitation and then appear to be sleepy and depressed a short time later.
- Memory Issues: Heroin addiction is a brain disease. The continued abuse of this drug affects the brain’s ability to function correctly.
- Runny or Sore Nose: If your loved one is snorting heroin, the powdered drug will damage the nose’s mucus membranes over time. When a person is snorting this drug, the signs that a loved one uses heroin can be trickier to spot. Chronic nasal inflammation that can cause a runny nose, particularly on one side, is a sign of use. Snorting heroin can also cause a hole to form in the septum, which some heroin abusers try to hide with a nose piercing.
Other symptoms of heroin use include slurred speech, changes in sleep patterns, coordination problems, and confusion.
Heroin Addiction Treatment at WhiteSands
WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab relies on the best and latest science involved in heroin addiction treatment to help all our patients find the sobriety they need. Our comprehensive treatment programs can be customized to each patient to ensure everyone has the best chance at success while attending our facilities.
If you believe that someone you care about is struggling with heroin addiction, get help now. WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab offers heroin addiction rehab treatment at various levels of care, including inpatient detox, residential and outpatient treatment.
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.