Signs of Heroin Addiction – What to Look Out For
When it comes to heroin addiction, it can seem like the worst thing that could ever happen. There is no denying that there are many different types of opioids out there that a person can get hooked on, but in most cases, heroin becomes a later choice. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be looking out for it.
What’s pretty daunting is that many times, we don’t really see a problem with prescription medications, because most of the time the drug abuse during these early stages is pretty easy to hide. Eventually, though, usually about the time that a person finds they have to turn to heroin, things become painfully apparent to loved ones and friends.
For this reason, by the time you begin to suspect that there is an issue, you might be seeing the signs right before your eyes. The thing is, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you might miss it entirely.
Common Signs of Addiction
Now, it’s important to know that there are general signs of addiction of any kind that a person might display, and then there are specific signs of heroin addiction. Some of them are the same, others are different. So, knowing what a general addiction looks like will help you to determine what’s happening with your loved one, too.
- Problems with work, losing jobs, unable to get a job. This can be pretty common because when many people begin using, they are able to keep things under control and hide their drug use. However, over time, the control that used to be around diminishes over time, and your loved one starts to show up high at work and can’t perform. Work troubles are some of the biggest signs that something might be going on in your loved one’s life.
- Changes in friendships. When a person suddenly changes friends and stop spending time with people that they have been friends with for years, it can raise alarm bells. It’s pretty typical for people who abuse any type of substances to build a whole new friend base of people that you would never image your loved one might actually be friends with.
- Disappearing for long periods of time. Many people who struggle with an addiction begin to disappear for long amounts of time. You might try to call or text and not get an answer, and when you ask where they were, there is almost always some kind of lie.
- Lying about almost anything. Speaking of lying, when a person is struggling with an addiction, it’s pretty common to tell lies about almost anything. Even things that don’t matter might be a lie and this can be really hard on families because they lose the ability to trust that their loved one is being honest about anything.
- Problems with money. When a person develops an addiction to substances or alcohol, it’s really common for them to struggle with money problems. Yes, drugs might be fairly cheap when you do just a little, but when you’re getting high all the time, and you’re not working much anymore, it can be really hard to keep your head above water. Don’t be surprised to hear your loved one ask you to borrow money more and more often.
These are some of the more common general signs of addiction, but what about when someone is addicted to a specific drug, like heroin? How can you tell that it’s heroin and not something else, like meth or cocaine?
Why Knowing What Your Loved One is Addicted to Matters
Now, you might wonder why knowing what your loved one is addicted to matters, and that’s a fair question. Why should it matter? Aren’t all addictions the same? In some ways, yes, but in others, not at all. For example, if your loved one has a thing for heroin and overdoses, you can tell emergency officials what it is that he has been taking. So, when you call for help, those who answer can be effective and help save your loved one.
When someone is addicted to heroin, there are risks that are pretty exclusive to heroin or other types of opioids, like overdosing on fentanyl, which is often laced with heroin these days. It’s much more potent than any other type of opioid, and it can be deadly with just a small amount.
Heroin can be snorted, smoked or injected, but the most common delivery method is injection, and that poses it’s own set of problems when your loved one runs out of healthy veins to inject. Abscesses and scarring are fairly common in many heroin addicts.
Common Signs of Heroin Addiction
Some of the more common signs of heroin addiction are pretty disturbing. Heroin scares us all because of how addicted to it a person can become. This type of addiction helped to create the term “junkie,” and for good reason. Heroin addiction tends to make people lose everything and lose it fast, which causes them to become homeless and lose the ability to take care of basic hygiene.
While everyone shows their addictions differently, there are a few signs of heroin addiction that are fairly common.
- Seemingly always tired. Heroin makes people tired. It makes them extremely relaxed and creates a feeling of euphoria. It’s not uncommon for those who use heroin to seem like they simply cannot stay awake. Once the intense high first wears off, your loved one might seem more “normal,” but when it’s time to get high again, your loved one will likely begin yawning and complaining of being tired again.
- Always struggle with being sick to their stomach. Heroin can cause you to throw up. It can make you nauseous, and when you’re doing it all the time, it’s fairly common for your loved one to lose a lot of weight, and not be hungry when he’s using all the time.
- Dilated pupils. As with many other types of substances, heroin can cause your pupils to change, and it’s often a pretty sure fire way to spot heroin use in your loved one.
- Glassy eyes. This is one effect of heroin that many people don’t know to look for, but when a person is high on heroin, their eyes often look like a Snapchat Filter. This effect can be tough to spot, and you might not be able to pinpoint it.
- Raspy or repressed voice. When your loved one is using heroin or any type of opioid for that matter, you might notice that he has a raspy or repressed voice. It might sound as if your loved one is struggling to breathe, and in fact, he is. Heroin represses everything, including your breathing. So, when your loved one sounds like his voice is weak or raspy, it’s usually because heroin makes breathing harder.
- Track marks. While your loved one might not inject heroin, it is one of the more common and favored ways of using the drug. When your loved one starts showing up with track marks, it’s often a pretty sure sign that she is addicted to heroin.
What to Do if You Think Your Loved One is Struggling with Heroin Addiction
If you worry that your loved one is struggling with heroin addiction, you might wonder if there’s anything you can do to help them get clean again. This one’s hard because new research is showing that isolating a loved one until they choose to get clean can actually have a negative effect on the way they choose to live the rest of their lives.
Instead, learning how to love your friend or family member despite the addiction is one of the most important steps you can take in helping them to eventually get clean and overcome their addiction.
One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved one who shows signs of heroin addiction is to be strong, and okay with whatever the situation warrants. You and the rest of your family might want to seek therapy to help you come to terms with your loved one’s addiction and learn how to continue living you good lives.
Then, you’ll want to have a plan in place for that time that your loved one tells you that she really needs help. We at Elite Rehab Placement know what it’s like to have a loved one ask for help and not have a plan in place. There’s a rush because you don’t want her to change her mind and you worry that you won’t find the right treatment facility for her needs.
When you give us a call, we do the hard stuff, like call your insurance company for you so you get all the logistics, including financing, under control quickly and easily. We also find the best rehab matches for your loved one’s needs. So, no matter whether your loved one has decided that he needs help today, or you just want to be ready, we can help you find the best addiction treatment program for your loved one’s needs.
Why not give us a call today and let us help you and your loved one get your lives back from heroin addiction?