It is not easy when you think you have a loved one addicted to any substance. Heroin is one of the most dangerous of the drugs out there today. Individuals can so easily overdose on opiates of any type which is what heroin is. With heroin, you never know how pure the drug is which means you could overdose at any given time when using. If you think your loved one is using heroin, the first thing you have to do is watch for the signs and symptoms of heroin use. To do this, you have to know what these signs and symptoms are.
Educate Yourself About Heroin Use
To know how to look for the signs and symptoms of heroin use, you need to read everything you can about heroin addiction. If you think your loved one is using heroin, this is a necessity. If your loved one is living at home, know what telltale signs to look for that might be in their room or the bathroom. Some household items such as aluminum foil, spoons, lighters, and shoestrings people use when injecting heroin.
Know that heroin is physically addictive and your loved one may have become addicted already. If not, it doesn’t take long to get dependent on this substance. As your loved one uses this drug, it will take more and more of it to reach the “high” for which they are looking which is the “high” they achieved the first time they used heroin. If your loved one is physically dependent already, they will suffer withdrawal symptoms if they don’t get the drug. Addicts call this “dope sickness.”
What are the Signs of Someone Using Heroin?
Heroin affects the body the same as opiate painkillers by alleviating pain and creating a sense of euphoria and relaxation. Some of the signs you might notice if your loved one is using heroin are:
- Constricted pupils
- Dry mouth
- Shortness of breath
- Periods of alertness followed by “nodding off.”
- Changes in behavior
- Droopy appearance as if legs are heavy
If the person using heroin has a history of drug abuse, they may be excellent at concealing these signs from you for a while. If this is your loved one who is living with you, you will also more than likely see the paraphernalia they use because they will get careless with it and not hide it as well. Over time, your loved one will build a tolerance to the heroin and exhibit more physical signs of the abuse. Some of these can include a runny nose (with no other physical reason) and weight loss. They will probably have scabs and scars from picking at the skin and scratching. You may also see abscesses or infections where they inject the drug.
Help for Heroin Addiction
If your loved one has progressed to a full-blown heroin addiction, you will see signs just as with any other substance addiction. They will begin lying and stealing either money or valuables from your home so they can obtain the heroin. Of course, they will lie when you confront them about this. They will show a lack of motivation and no interest in activities or hobbies which they enjoyed before the heroin abuse. They will withdraw from family and their regular friends and may even show hostility towards them. Now they have new friends who are also drug users. If you notice any or all of these signs, it is time to seek help for your loved one.
There are many addiction treatment centers today that specialize in heroin and opiate addiction. We need many because opiate and opioid addiction are at epidemic proportions in the United States today. Most overdose deaths today are from these drugs. Don’t let your loved one end up as a statistic of drug addiction. Do everything you can to get them into a good, reputable rehabilitation center so they can receive the treatment that they need to recover from addiction and return to a happy, healthy, sober life.