Heroin is a powerful and devastating drug. The drug can ruin the life of the addict and can impact their loved ones to the point of dysfunction. If your loved one is addicted to heroin, it can be easy to overlook the signs of a heroin addict. It is important to understand the signs of heroin addiction as soon as possible so they can receive professional help. Individuals can show a number of different signs of a heroin addiction. The following are 10 of the most common signs of a heroin addict.
Signs of a Heroin Addict: Impaired Speech and Disorientation
A tell-tale sign of a heroin addict is the presence of slurred speech and noticeable disorientation. After the initial euphoria of the drug wears off, users experience a significant sense of sedation which can last for a few hours. In this time, users will feel drowsy and become extremely lethargic. The most obvious sign of this is slurred speech and difficulty walking or standing.
Signs of a Heroin Addict: Significant Weight Loss
Another major symptom of an opioid addiction is that most heroin addicts experience significant weight loss. The drug causes nausea in users, and oftentimes they will eat very little or nothing at all. As a result, chronic heroin users will be noticeably gaunt, emaciated and severely malnourished.
Signs of a Heroin Addict: Presence of Needle Marks
The most common way heroin users administer the drug is by injection. Injection of heroin leaves users with needle marks commonly known as track marks. What do needle track marks look like? These marks are commonly found on the arms and neck of users as well as the ankles, between the toes or track marks on legs. A strong sign of a heroin addict is the wearing of long-sleeve shirts, pants or high-collared shirts in inappropriate weather. If someone you love is wearing these types of garments often, they may be trying to hide injection site marks or other sores from heroin use.
Signs of a Heroin Addict: Decline in Personal Appearance
Heroin is a powerful and an all-consuming drug. As the user of heroin increases, the user’s personal appearance and hygiene often become less of a priority. Heroin addicts may sometimes go long periods without bathing which makes them look dirty and disheveled. Physical side effects of heroin users are numerous. A strong sign that a loved one is addicted to heroin is their skin. Chronic heroin use often leaves a user’s skin looking pasty from the lack of sunlight. Another side effect trait of heroin skin includes sores on the face from drug use.
Signs of a Heroin Addict: Abrupt Changes in Mood
In general, drug addicts seesaw between highs and lows regarding their moods—and this is particularly true with heroin addicts. If a loved one is using the drug, they will normally experience a euphoric rush as the drug suddenly reaches the pleasure receptors in the brain. During the times when a heroin addict is on a high, they will often seem to be in a great and pleasing mood. However, when a heroin user comes down from the drug, they can be enormously uncomfortable since the symptoms of heroin withdrawal are incredibly painful and unbearable.
Signs of a Heroin Addict: Abnormal Sleep
Heroin is an extremely powerful narcotic drug. The drug itself is made from the poppy flower of the opium plant. Literally translated, the plant’s scientific name papver somniferum means the sleep-producing poppy. Though at times there may be opioid induced insomnia, the drug also has a numbing effect. If a loved is showing heroin addict signs, the numbing effects of the drug often will allow them to sleep for extended periods of time.
Signs of a Heroin Addict: Finding Needles
If you find intravenous needles in a loved one’s room, in a bag, or elsewhere in their room, it should raise alarm they are a heroin addict. Because of the secrecy of addiction, chances are slim that a heroin addict is leaving needles in plain sight. However, you may find needles buried in their trash can, hidden in a hollowed-out book or in another secret location. Oftentimes heroin addicts will place old needles in empty soda cans.
Signs of a Heroin Addict: Financial Problems
For the heroin addict, the addiction itself not only can be physically and psychologically taxing, it is also financially taxing as well. As their addiction worsens, they can deplete all their financial resources. As a result, they will resort to stealing money from others to support their habits. Additionally, they may sell or pawn their valuables to get the money needed to continue their habit. Once their possessions are gone, they will resort to stealing other people’s possessions. If you notice valuable items or money missing from your home, it is a clear sign that your loved one may be addicted to heroin.
Signs of a Heroin Addict: Lying and Manipulation
Heroin has the ability to overwhelm the areas of the brain that govern reasoning and impulse control. As a result, heroin addicts will do anything and everything within their power to continue their habit. In addition to stealing money and valuables, the heroin addict will resort to lying to family members and friends to cover up their addiction. Another sign of heroin addiction is when the user manipulates family and other loved ones and guilting them into providing money to buy more drugs.
A Near Certainty of a Heroin Addiction is Drug Paraphernalia
One of the biggest signs that a loved one is a heroin addict is the discovery of paraphernalia in their room or other secret space. In addition to needles, you may find bent spoons, syringes, tin foil, glass or metal pipes and balloons. Once you see these items, you will need to admit that your loved one is struggling with an addiction to heroin.
Heroin Treatment Options Are Available…and Closer Than You Think!
Are you or someone that is close, a friend or a family member shown the signs of a heroin addict. When you discover that a loved one is addicted to heroin, your heart sinks and you can feel helpless. You may feel that you can help a loved one by yourself–but, the only way a loved one can break free from heroin addiction is through professional help. B-Hope is a premier drug treatment facility that features heroin treatment programs specifically created for your loved one’s specific needs.
Watch for the Signs of a Heroin Addict
No matter the severity of your loved one’s heroin addiction, the experienced and compassionate staff at Bridges of Hope are at your side. Recognizing the signs of a heroin addiction can mean be the difference between life and death for a family member, another loved one or possibly even yourself. We provide the tools and support that is needed so that the entire family can heal and grow. Don’t wait another day, call B-Hope toll-free today and speak to our treatment team.