Find Local Treatment Options
Call 800-481-6320 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

Signs of Heroin Addiction You Can’t Ignore

Heroin is an opioid that they make from the opiate morphine. It is a synthetic form of the pain killer that originally came from the opium poppy in Asia. Heroin is typically a white or brown powder or in the case of Black Tar Heroin, it is a black sticky substance resembling tar. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 4 million Americans have used heroin at least once.

Since heroin is so prevalent in the United States, it is important to know the signs of heroin addiction. If you are using chances are you are addicted to it. There are physical, psychological, and social signs that you are either addicted or becoming addicted to heroin.

Signs of Heroin Use

When someone is using heroin they experience the side effects of the drug. These side effects, although not a sign of addiction, are a good indicator that the person is at the very least using heroin. The physical signs are:

  • sudden reduced pain,
  • nausea,
  • drowsiness, heroin is a sedative,
  • slowed breathing, and
  • lower than normal body temperature.

These signs are normal when someone is actively using. When someone is in withdrawal from heroin, they show the signs of it. The signs of heroin withdrawal are:

  • muscle cramps,
  • dilated pupils,
  • lethargy,
  • runny nose,
  • perspiration,
  • rapid heart rate,
  • nausea,
  • lack of appetite,
  • insomnia,
  • joint or muscle pain, and
  • diarrhea.

These symptoms all are due to the heroin leaving the body. In times of extreme withdrawal, these symptoms are very severe. They can be debilitating if not treated, although they are rarely fatal.

Many of the psychological signs of heroin use are signs of both addiction and just using the drug. These psychological signs are:

  • euphoria,
  • depression,
  • reduced anxiety, and
  • seeming lethargic or slow.

Of course there are also psychological signs of withdrawal. For the most part these are opposite reactions to using heroin. These psychological signs of withdrawal are:

  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • irritability, and
  • insomnia.

Many of these signs are also signs of addiction. Generally if someone is experiencing withdrawal symptoms, there is a good chance they are addicted to heroin.

Physical Signs of Heroin Addiction

heroin addiction

Heroin addiction can cause a variety of changes in appearance.

People who are addicted to heroin show physical signs of the addiction. These physical signs happen as they continue using the drug. The most common signs are:

  • changes in appearance such as:

o dramatic weight loss,

o appearance of starving,

o dramatic weight gain,

o unusual pupil dilation,

o track marks or scaring around the elbows or other popular injection sites.

o pale skin, and

o pasty unhealthy skin,

  • Digestive symptoms:

o nausea,

o frequent vomiting,

o low or no appetite,

  • Neurological symptoms:

o tremors,

o shaking,

o twitching, and

o restlessness.

All of these signs are visible when someone is addicted to heroin. As the addiction continues these signs get worse. Most people who first start using can hide these signs with make-up, eye drops, and other methods. The psychological signs are not as easy to hide.

Psychological Signs of a Heroin Addict

The psychological signs of a heroin addict start very subtle but gradually grow to being very noticeable. The majority of these symptoms become uncontrollable as use and the addiction grow. A few of these signs are:

  • unexplained mood swings,
  • unexplained general anxiety particularly when they do not have the drug,
  • lack of interest in activities they used to enjoy,
  • skipping activities they normally would go to due to depression or other mental issues,
  • unusually hostile moods,
  • apathy or a “don’t care,” attitude,
  • obvious euphoria,
  • drug seeking behavior such as making up unexplained illnesses,
  • lack of hygiene or unkempt physical appearance, and
  • lack of motivation.

These psychological effects are often accompanied by behavioral and social changes.

Behavioral Signs of Addiction to Heroin

The behavioral signs of heroin addiction are usually obvious. A few of these signs you should know about are:

  • changes in habits – heroin addicts often change their routines and habits. As their life is consumed by the cycle of using and obtaining the drug, they start to show do things that fit that pattern.
  • frequent trips to the bathroom – heroin users generally need a private place to do the drug. This private place is often the bathroom.
  • secretive behavior – people using any drug frequently tend to become very secretive. They might have a second cell phone, take calls at odd times, or leave suddenly without letting you know where they are going.
  • refusing to talk – addicts do not like to talk about their behavior. They become angry or irritable when you question their motives or the way they are acting.
  • changes in friends or job – addicts miss work due to their addiction, they also make mistakes at work. Both of these things lead to job changes. They will also start to befriend others that use drugs or deal them. They might stop hanging around those who do not use drugs.

Most addicts begin with subtle changes and move towards other more permanent ones. According to the National Library of Medicine’s publication Brief Interventions and Brief Therapies for Substance Abuse, the person does not need to want to stop using drugs. An intervention or forced rehabilitation sometimes works although it is easier if they want to stop using on their own. Recognizing the signs of heroin addiction, is the first step to helping someone overcome their addiction.

More Rehab Centers Resources

How Rehab Helps in Meth Addiction Recovery

meth addiction help

When it comes to methamphetamine addiction recovery, there are many challenges a person will face along the way. While it may be difficult to overcome this type of addiction, it is something that many people successfully accomplish every year. Some people are able to quit cold turkey, overcoming their meth addiction without any outside help…..

Continue reading

Why go to a Specialized Rehab?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, treatment needs to be personalized in order for it to work. Each drug acts differently and each person with an addiction is an individual. With hundreds of drug addictions and dual diagnosis combinations it is important to find the treatment center that works with your individual addiction…..

Continue reading

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

National impaired driving prevention month can help save lives.

The National Highway Traffic Safetey Administration (NHTSA) has designated December to be National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, which is an effort to combat drunk and drugged driving to help reduce accidents and associated fatalities. According to a release from the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Gil Kerlikowske, 1 out of….

Continue reading

How Alcohol Affects Work Performance

Alcohol addiction can cause you problems at work!

Alcohol, though legal for people over the age of 21, still causes detrimental consequences. The fact that alcohol is a legal substance is likely the reason why the negative role that alcohol plays in the community can be seen in nearly any situation including school, home, special events and even work. It doesn’t really matter….

Continue reading

Rehab: What Works Best for Teens?

You may have discovered your child has an addiction to drugs or alcohol or they may have come to you with that information. No matter how you discovered the truth, you are probably still reeling from it and trying as quickly as possible to find a way for your child to get sober. Of course….

Continue reading

Why You Should Include Your Family in Your Alcohol Rehab Experience

Alcoholism takes its toll on the alcoholic and their families. An important element of alcohol rehab is building positive relationships with people who will support you during recovery. The alcoholic is never the only one to suffer from this debilitating disease. All family members, including the children, partners, parents, and other loved ones are impacted…..

Continue reading

5 Tips for Dealing with Addiction After Rehab

addiction recovery

The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes addiction as a mental illness that “changes the brain in fundamental ways, disturbing a person’s normal hierarchy of needs and desires and substituting new priorities connected with procuring and using the drug.” Altered thoughts, emotions, and habits are not things that can easily be reversed during the time….

Continue reading

The Importance of Long Term Rehab Centers for Men in Recovery

long term rehab

According to the National Institutes on Drug Abuse, men are far more likely than women to abuse drugs. This puts men at a drastically increased risk of dependence and addiction. However, there are a number of treatment options available to men seeking to get away from drugs or alcohol, and recover from the dangerous disease….

Continue reading

Rehab Centers Welcomes InnerBalance Health Center to the Directory of Colorado Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers

InnerBalance Health Center can help you with your drug treatment!

InnerBalance Health Center of Loveland, Colorado has recently been added to the Rehab Centers directory of drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers to provide greater access to addiction treatment services for those in Colorado and across the United States. Recently, InnerBalance Health Center decided to join the Rehab Centers team and list the services offered at….

Continue reading

Life After Drug Rehab: Paying the Bill

Drug rehab can come with a price but don’t let that stop you from the recovery you deserve!

Long after you have finished getting treatment for a drug addiction there’s a chance that you will still be paying the bill. The cost of addiction runs far deeper than just the cost of going into treatment. There are other bills that accrue such as the need to pay back the people you love, the need….

Continue reading

Still can't find the help you are looking for?Get Started Now
Accepted Insurances / View the full list
For inquiries call800-481-6320

Accepted Insurances Does My Insurance
Cover This?

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This