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Signs of a Heroin Addiction

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Heroin is a powerful and illegal opioid. This Schedule 1 drug robs people of their closest relationships and careers and can even lead to dangerous, life-threatening complications. While it may be difficult to talk about, even with a loved one, identifying the signs of heroin addiction is an essential step toward recovery.

If you suspect that someone you care about is addicted to heroin — or you think your own heroin use has spiraled out of control — be on the lookout for signs so you know when to get help.

Heroin Addiction Causes Physical Symptoms

This opioid causes noticeable physical symptoms. Once injected, people experience drug-induced euphoria, often within seconds. Other signs of being high on heroin could include:

  • Flushed skin.
  • Constricted pupils.
  • Slow breathing.
  • Loss of self-control.
  • Itching.
  • Lack of energy or drowsiness.
  • Nodding off.
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or disorientation.
  • Difficulty making decisions.
  • Memory loss.

Constipation is also a common side effect among those who use heroin frequently. They may need laxatives or stool softeners to relieve themselves.

You may also notice visible withdrawal symptoms when your loved one hasn’t used the drug lately, such as:

  • Agitation or nervousness.
  • Shaking.
  • Sweating.
  • Runny nose.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Aches and pain.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Insomnia.
  • Depression.

Heroin Addiction Causes Changes in Lifestyle

In the beginning, your loved one may be able to effectively hide their heroin addiction. As the intensity of their cravings continues to grow, however, the signs may become more noticeable, including many pronounced behaviors and lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Dramatic mood swings.
  • Changes in routine.
  • Needle marks, which they may attempt to hide with long sleeves even in warm weather.
  • Unusual elation or euphoria.
  • Problems with their job performance.
  • Secretive behavior or dishonesty.
  • Social and personal isolation.
  • Relationship or family troubles.
  • Legal issues or arrests.
  • Difficulty maintaining health and personal hygiene.

Heroin Addiction Is Accompanied By Drug Paraphernalia

Certain paraphernalia is needed to get high with heroin. Learning to recognize these devices may help you determine whether someone you love is using.

Heroin is often injected, but it can also be smoked or snorted. Needles, pipes, spoons and lighters are frequently used to perform these actions. You may also find rubber tubing or elastic bands that act as tourniquets to enlarge the veins, helping them inject the heroin.

Heroin has a powdery, crumbly appearance. While it’s often an off-white hue, its coloring can range from white to brownish to black. Black tar heroin has a slightly different appearance, as it’s a black, sticky substance.

Where to Seek Help for Heroin Addiction

Discovering that someone you care for struggles with heroin addiction can be frightening. If you recognize these heroin addiction signs, don’t wait. Talk to your loved one and let them know that help is available. BAART Programs has delivered compassionate medication-assisted treatment and counseling for over 40 years. We understand that addiction is a disease, and we are committed to walking beside our clients as they take their first steps toward recovery.

If you have any questions, please contact us today to speak with one of our knowledgeable, caring representatives. We want to make sure the road to recovery is as smooth as possible for you or your loved one.

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