Recognizing Addiction: Symptoms of Heroin Abuse

Recognizing Addiction: Symptoms of Heroin Abuse

When family and loved ones are aware of the symptoms of heroin abuse, they can offer much-needed help through treatment. So, it’s important if you think that a family member or loved one may be addicted to heroin to be able to recognize these symptoms. Otherwise, they may not be offered the help they need to rid heroin addiction from their life.

Understanding what Heroin Is

Before you can learn to recognize the symptoms of heroin abuse, you must know what heroin actually is. Heroin is an illicit drug which is derived from the poppy plants. These plants offer a charming appeal, boasting beautiful red flowers. But, their sap contains opium, which is used to create morphine and, in return, heroin. While heroin is illegal in the United States, it’s still sold on the black market, available for those who wish to sell it to the population as they see fit. Heroin is either a white powder for inhalation or it’s sold in the form of a black tar to be boiled down for injection or smoked. On the street, heroin is otherwise referred to as smack, H, junk, brown sugar, or horse.

Keeping an Eye Out for Heroin Paraphernalia

Undoubtedly, one of the main signs of heroin use is paraphernalia. These may include syringes, burnt spoons, used needles, lighters, aluminum foil, pipes, baggies, and even broken pens used for smoking. While noticing drug paraphernalia may suggest drug use, it may not always mean that your loved one has already developed an addiction. However, heroin is one of the most addictive and potent drugs on this planet, so even first-time users can quickly develop dependence. It’s usually a sign that if someone isn’t hiding their heroin paraphernalia, they have come far along enough in active addiction to no longer care about hiding the evidence.

Checking for Physical Symptoms of Heroin Use

When heroin is used, there are a few obvious physical symptoms that you can recognize. Usually, a heroin user will experience dry mouth, euphoric feelings, track marks where the drug was injected, flushed/reddish skin, and weighted limbs. While these are some symptoms you can recognize immediately after the drug is used, there are also physical symptoms of long-term heroin use. These symptoms may include malnutrition, poor hygiene, inadequate sleep schedule, and rapid weight loss.

Negative Impacts on Health

Heroin is nowhere near safe to use. So, it comes with a list of negative side effects, including health issues. These can be a sign of abuse as health issues usually don’t arise with short-term use. Some health effects of heroin may include skin infections like rashes or abscesses, trouble breathing, kidney failure, diminished immune system, constant runny nose, and more. It’s important to note that often times when an individual who abuses heroin stops taking the drug, withdrawal symptoms can arise. And, the only thing that will help the individual to feel better is to use the drug yet again. So, if you think that your loved one may be experiencing withdrawal, they will likely look to obtain the drug as soon as possible to prevent further pain and suffering.

Recognising Behavioral Changes as Symptoms of Heroin Abuse

Likely, it will be the behavioral changes that you may notice first when a loved one is struggling with a heroin dependence. Addiction can change a person’s mood and personality to the point where they no longer even act like the person they were before addiction. Some common behavioral changes due to heroin addiction may include increased apathy, avoidance of loved ones, neglecting responsibility, constantly searching for the drug, and feelings of depression. While your loved one may exhibit behavioral changes, it’s important to understand that the feelings, thoughts, and even words that are expressed by your addicted loved one may not be from a place of intention. Rather, the addiction has taken over and is affecting every aspect of your loved one’s demeanor.

Recognizing Symptoms of Heroin Abuse in Your Home?

If you think that your loved one is struggling with heroin addiction, there is always help available. If you wish to speak confidentially about a treatment solution, please give Lily Pad of St. Augustine a call today at 561-758-1011.


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