Heroin Addiction: Symptoms and Warning Signs

By The Care Centers. Posted on Fri Feb 26 2016

Do you have a loved one with a drug abuse problem? If you suspect that they’re using heroin, it’s incredibly important that you try to help them in any way you can. Heroin is both physiologically and psychologically addictive, and it is one of the most difficult substances to quit, as stopping cold turkey will bring on severe withdrawal symptoms. In fact, attempting to quit heroin without the help of a proper rehab facility can even be deadly, depending on how long the patient has been using and how physically dependent they’ve become.

The Dangers of Heroin Abuse
If you’re feeling reticent about your role in helping your loved one defeat heroin, you should be aware of how seriously dangerous it is. The health risks of using heroin include heart failure, kidney failure, lung damage, and damage to the mind and the user’s ability to think logically and rationally. Heroin is one of the deadliest drugs available today, so if you suspect that someone you love is using, you should look for these telltale signs and then try to get them the help they need.

Evidence of Heroin Use
Because it’s a fast-acting opiate and it’s usually injected, snorted, or smoked, users often leave physical evidence of their heroin use behind. Look for a crumbly or powdery substance that’s somewhere between dark brown and off-white in color in the place where you think your loved one was using. You should also look for black tar, spoons with burn marks on the bottom, small baggies with powdery residue in them, small glass pipes, cotton balls, tourniquets (usually a piece of rubber tubing or a belt), and of course syringes or syringe caps.

Telltale Signs and Symptoms That Someone Is Using Heroin
If you don't have access to the space where they’re using, pay attention to their behavior, especially after they’ve secluded themselves for a few minutes. Do they suddenly seem like they’re both more tired and at the same time happier? If they look like they’re in a state of euphoria after coming out of the bathroom, chances are good that they took that opportunity to get high.

Other signs and symptoms include complaining about a dry mouth, having flushed skin, and apparent drowsiness or exhaustion. If you know that they haven’t been able to use in a while, look for sweatiness, compulsive scratching, nausea, and chills. These are signs of withdrawal, and they point to a serious problem.

Getting Them the Help They Need
If you observe any or all of these warning signs and symptoms that someone you love has a heroin addiction, you should contact a rehab facility immediately. Chances are good that your loved one is in denial and may refuse help at first, but an addiction specialist can help you organize and stage an intervention to help them see their problem and its severity. Then they can get the help they need to get healthy and live a productive, fulfilling life once more.

Tags: Substance Rehab