Despite the severity of a heroin addiction, it’s not always easy to recognize when a friend, loved one or family member is struggling. To help the people you care about get help sooner, you need to know the most common signs of heroin addiction.
Physical Signs of Heroin Addiction
Sometimes, the only way to determine if a loved one is abusing heroin is through their physical appearance. The face and body is often a roadmap of heroin use. Because of this, there are a number of signs that can indicate addiction.
As a heroin addiction develops, users are likely to suffer from drastic physical changes. Heroin will begin to take over their every waking thought, causing them to be less likely to present themselves carefully. Additionally, they may stop dressing well, putting on makeup or even ignoring personal grooming. Some of the other common physical signs of heroin abuse and addiction may include:
- Rapid weight loss
- Chronically runny nose
- Flushed, red cheeks
- Increased scabs, cuts or bruises on the skin
- Smaller, dilated pupils
- Sleepy or fatigued appearance
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that a major sign of heroin addiction is physical marks on the skin from using a needle to inject the drug. Individuals struggling with addiction might also try to hide these marks by wearing long sleeves, even when the weather is warm.
Behavioral Changes That Can Point to Heroin Addiction
While physical changes may be the first sign that there’s a problem, behavioral changes are an even bigger indicator that addiction has taken hold. Individuals struggling with a heroin addiction undergo significant behavioral changes. Since they’re consistently under the influence of a powerful opiate-based drug, they’re no longer acting of their own volition.
Some of the most common signs of behavioral changes that could indicate a heroin addiction include the following:
- Lying or deceiving loved ones
- Withdrawing from social or family events
- Lack of interest in normally exciting hobbies or passions
- Poor school performance or being fired from place of employment
- Unusual sleeping patterns
- Slurred or incoherent speech
Many of the signs mentioned above that relate to both physical and behavioral signs can be indicative of many types of drug addictions. When specifically determining whether individuals are struggling with a heroin addiction, keeping an eye out for heroin-related paraphernalia might be key.
Items used to inject heroin, such as needles or syringes, might be visible. In addition, other items that you may find are loose shoelaces, burned spoons, thin rubber tubes or small glass pipes. Not all of these items are necessarily used together, but some will be necessary depending on whether individuals inject or smoke heroin. Other heroin-related items might include small plastic baggies, some of which contain white powdery residue in the corners.
Recognizing the signs of heroin addiction means identifying that someone you care about needs help. At The Hills Treatment Center, patients can begin a detox and rehab program, getting on track to recovery as quickly as possible. Call 866-323-4665 to learn more and to seek help for loved ones today.