5 Signs of Heroin Abuse

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Two people cooking heroin on a spoon are exhibiting signs of heroin abuse

Heroin is a very dangerous and addictive opiate. In fact, using this drug even a few times can lead to addiction. If you suspect that a loved one uses heroin, learn about the signs of heroin abuse to confirm your suspicions. Then, you can help your loved one get treatment.

5 Signs of Heroin Abuse

There are many ways to tell when someone has a problem with heroin abuse. Below are five of the most common indicators.

Appearance and Behavior Changes

Two people cooking heroin on a spoon are exhibiting signs of heroin abuseDifferences in appearance and behavior are major signs that people abuse heroin. They often stop caring about their physical health and hygiene. Most of the time, they lose weight quickly and sleep for excessive amounts of time.

Mood changes are common as well. Using heroin makes people erratic and sometimes aggressive. They might also develop depression.

In addition, those who abuse heroin obsess over the drug. Because of that, they lose interest in hobbies, neglect family obligations and perform poorly at work. These actions can damage their relationships and cause job loss.

Nodding Off

Heroin suppresses the central nervous system. It slows down bodily functions such as blood pressure, temperature and respiratory/heart rate. These effects make people drowsy for several hours after the high wears off.

They can drift between unconsciousness and consciousness, which many people refer to as nodding out. It also prevents them from staying coherent and focused.

Track Marks

Although snorting and smoking heroin are methods of use, injecting it is the most common. This habit can cause damage to people’s bodies and leave track marks. These signs of heroin abuse include bruises, scars, scabs, and needle marks in the forearm, hands, legs, and feet.

Black, sooty material might also remain near the site if they heat the needles prior to injection. They’re also at risk for inflammation and infection, which may look like dark patches of skin.


People who use heroin typically hide the tools that they use to administer and store the drug. These tools are paraphernalia such as foil squares, small baggies, needles, burnt spoons, and belts, or rubber tubes. Other items that they might use include lighters, cotton balls, burnt aluminum foil, straws, and rolled dollar bills. These tools could turn up in their bedrooms, bathrooms, vehicles, or other personal spaces.

Withdrawal Symptoms

The development of withdrawal symptoms indicates the presence of dependence or addiction. It manifests as cold flashes, muscle pain, intense cravings, diarrhea, and vomiting. Trouble sleeping and involuntary leg movements are also side effects.

The symptoms are the worst one or two days after people stop using heroin. In most cases, they start using again to get relief. For this reason, they need medical detox and therapy to recover from heroin use.

Help a Loved One Get Heroin Treatment

If you notice any of the above signs, you might need to hold an intervention for your loved one. The Hills Treatment Center is a luxury drug recovery facility that offers a full scale of treatment services, including:

Do what’s best for your loved one when you recognize the signs of heroin abuse. Seek treatment that addresses every aspect of his or her well-being. Dial 844-915-0287 to learn more about our addiction therapies.

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