Heroin use has brought too many people to their knees. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 15,000 people died from a heroin overdose in 2017, a five-fold increase over the course of seven years. Heroin use remains widespread, and there are many signs of heroin addiction to watch out for. Perhaps you’re worried about a friend or family member and wondering: what are the signs of heroin use?
The signals may not be obvious, as they can initially look mundane — a runny nose, constipation, a hot flash. But know that once spotted, the signs of heroin use represent a call for help. Let’s look at the things to notice and what you can do about it.
Signs of Heroin Use
Determining whether someone is using heroin isn’t the easiest thing to do. People struggling with heroin use, dependence, or addiction become experts in cloaking their behaviors. But the principal signs of heroin use include:
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Dressing to hide needle marks
- A decline in personal hygiene
- Difficulties in sleeping
- Loss of motivation
- Acquisition of paraphernalia — burned silver spoons, water pipes, foil wrappers
- Small plastic bags with a powdery residue
Your loved one may also be experiencing intense withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, hot and cold flashes, sweating, cramping, and constipation.
We can offer a way out. Our Florida heroin addiction rehab works with individuals and their friends and families to provide therapy, medication and other support that helps put lives back together.
Long-term Effects of Heroin Use
Getting help sooner rather than later is critical once you notice the signs of heroin use. Heroin is a powerful, highly addictive, illegal drug that poses substantial long-term risks to physical and mental health.
It is seductively dangerous. The initial high may make an individual feel warm inside, safe and calm or even euphoric. As those states wear off, individuals become highly susceptible to dependence and addiction.
The long-term effects of heroin can include problems with your lungs, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis, and your heart, leading to infections of blood vessels and heart valves. You can experience sexual dysfunction and problems such as arthritis.
The signs of heroin use point toward a multitude of problems. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Addressing Heroin Use
You can put your life back together. It will take work, and there’s no magic solution, but it can be done.
Treatment plans are unique to every individual’s situation. They will usually require various forms of psychotherapy, both in individual and group settings, to help you understand your situation and begin to develop coping skills.
You may also receive certain medications, such as methadone, that lessen the impact of heroin on the brain. Over time, medication and counseling have proven effective in helping people come off the drug. The way back usually starts with someone recognizing the signs of heroin use, followed by a full assessment.
Getting the Help You Need
Have you spotted the signs of heroin use in friends or family members? Help is just a phone call away. We provide treatment programs based on clinically proven approaches, tailored to individual needs. Our programs can last up to three months and include:
- Inpatient drug rehab
- Transitional living to keep you safe
- Individual, group, and family therapy
- Outpatient drug rehab
- Partial hospitalization
Watching your loved ones exhibit signs of heroin use can be difficult, but there is still hope for them to receive the help they need. Reach out today for a confidential assessment to help them take the first steps to recovery.