Heroin is a dangerous opioid, and overcoming an addiction to heroin is a tremendous challenge. Learning the signs of heroin use may give you the tools you need to help a loved one suffering with a heroin addiction. Once you recognize it, you can encourage them to get help through rehab and continuing care.
The Physical Signs of Heroin Use
Often, the easiest way to determine if a person is using heroin is to single out the physical effects of this drug. A person’s appearance will very likely change when they begin to develop a heroin addiction.
The exact physical signs of a heroin addiction can vary from person to person. However, some of the most common physical symptoms include the following:
- Tiny pupils
- Chronically runny nose
- Flushed skin, even in cool weather
- Slowed breathing
- Tendency to fall asleep or nod off when speaking
- Rapid weight loss
Behavioral Signs Common to Heroin Addicts
Heroin addicts may also display certain behavioral traits that give away their reliance on opiate drugs. For example, they may complain of digestive distress, notably constipation, or spend a lot of time in the bathroom. They may also feel nauseous on a regular basis, vomit frequently and prefer not to eat large amounts of food.
Other physical manifestations of a heroin addiction can include scratching more often or wearing long sleeves in hot climates to hide needle marks. Individuals using heroin are also prone to slurring their speech.
Changes in Personality and Priorities
Whether individuals are struggling with addiction to heroin or another substance, they generally undergo some extreme changes. These can influence personality, appearance, career, relationships and finances.
For example, a person using heroin may struggle to get to work on time, or they may be fired from their job. They may also begin to avoid family members and become far less outgoing than normal. Problems in personal relationships and drastic changes to appearance are just a few more signs that a person may be struggling with an addiction to a drug like heroin.
Paraphernalia Related to Heroin Use
Another sign that someone in your life is using heroin is poorly hidden heroin paraphernalia. This drug can be snorted, injected or smoked, so paraphernalia can vary. If you notice any of the following, however, your loved one may be affected by a heroin addiction:
- Burnt spoons
- Small, clear plastic baggies
- Rubber tubing
- Small glass pipes
- Either sticky brown residue or white powder residue
If you identify these common signs of heroin use, seeking help has to be a priority. In San Antonio, Texas, San Antonio Recovery Center offers a range of treatment programs to aid in recovery. Call 866-957-7885 and gain the tools and resources required to end heroin addiction once and for all.