Learn the telltale signs of heroin use to find out if a loved one is addicted to the drug.
Heroin is still among the top most abused and addictive drugs in the U.S. Some people use illicit heroin for recreational purposes, and others started taking the drug when their prescription opioid medication ran out and they couldn’t get a refill. Many sufferers of chronic pain have turned to heroin as a way to relieve their pain but then get addicted to the drug, if they are not already addicted to their opioid medication. The high potential for abuse and addiction of prescription opioid medications has contributed to the rise in heroin use. If you suspect that a loved one may be using heroin, there are telltale signs of heroin use that may help you confirm your suspicions. Some of the telltale signs of heroin use include:
- Heroin can have devastating chemical and structural effects on the brain that can alter a person’s personality, brain function and behavior. The drug causes deterioration of the pre-frontal cortex of the brain that can result in executive function impairment. Areas that are affected include: cognitive ability, decision making abilities, discernment of opposing thoughts, self-control, personality expression, and social behavior. Heroin can also cause structural damage to the brain, which can result in neuro-transmissions impairment.
- Another of the telltale signs of heroin abuse include the addict withdrawing from family and friends and spending more time associating with other drug users, or being alone to use heroin. This behavior may lead to the addict becoming estranged from his family and isolated from society. Many heroin addicts begin to suffer terrible loneliness because of their drug habit.
- Another prominent sign of heroin addiction is being “on the nod”, where the addict will become sleepy because heroin has a sedative effect on its users. Being on the nod is considered a gateway to fatal consequences. Sometimes the addict may fall into a very deep sleep from the heroin and this can result in:
- The addict will not wake up
- The addict can lose consciousness
- The addict can be experiencing an overdose
- Respiratory depression will cause the addict to stop breathing
- The addict can lapse into a coma.
- Heroin addiction often has the addict borrowing or stealing money to get his drug. He may tell you all kinds of reasons why he needs to borrow money, such as having an unexpected expense etc. He really only wants your money to buy heroin. Addicts become very adept at lying and manipulating people. They take on the mindset of a narcissist who is only interested in their needs and desires, but they can cover it up pretty well.
- One of the biggest telltale signs of heroin use is finding drug paraphernalia for heroin use. Heroin can be snorted or injected, so it isn’t unusual to find smoking pipes, needles and syringes, a tying cord, spoons, lighters, straws, aluminum foil, small plastic bags and gum wrappers.
- Telltale signs of heroin abuse include a lack of personal hygiene, grooming and bathing. The addict may appear unkempt, have dirty hair, nails and clothing, and emit strange odors. Addicts that inject heroin usually cover up needle marks by wearing long sleeved shirts, long pants and socks.
- Other signs of abuse are the many effects that heroin has on the body. If your loved one is experiencing some of these problems he will need professional help to get well. Some heroin effects include: nausea, vomiting, blood clots, kidney failure, slow breathing, disorientation, collapsed veins, lung damage, mental impairment, liver disease, heart problems, infections, seizures, overdose, coma and death.
If you, or a loved one, have a heroin addiction and are experiencing some of these telltale signs of heroin use, you should seek professional help to recover from addiction. A comprehensive treatment program at a drug rehab center can help you get off heroin and teach you how to live a sober life.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the White Sands Tampa at (877) 640-7820. 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.