6 Prominent Signs of Heroin Addiction

Look out for these red flags to save someone from a grave trap. Proper knowledge of the various signs of heroin addiction1 can help you save your beloved ones.

Not anyone should be left to suffer just because they were unaware of the signs of heroin addiction. Every life is important, and no one deserves to suffer for a lifetime.

What is so fascinating about heroin? Why does this dangerous drug enslave people? You might have these questions in mind when you see an addict.

Before you know the signs of heroin addiction, it is necessary to know what heroin is. Educate yourself with the most accurate knowledge. This enables you to spot a person addicted to heroin with ease.

Heroin is an addictive drug that is derived from the opium poppy plant2. It is used as a painkiller. But people illegally use it for euphoric effects. Its action is rapid.

It is found in many forms, in powdered form or as a sticky substance. It is marketed in three colors: white, brown, and black, and can be smoked,  snorted up the nose, or injected using a needle. Whichever mode one may choose, the reaction is so fast that it affects the brain immediately.

1. Signs of Heroin Addiction

Heroin is a highly addictive substance. Reduce any risk associated with heroin addiction with ample information regarding the symptoms of heroin addiction.

1.1 Depression

Heroin users are highly vulnerable to depression. Sometimes people tend to use drugs illegally to treat their mental health issues3.

This powerful drug has a psychological impact on its users. Heroin addiction can worsen depression. Since it changes the emotional mood, opioid users eventually fall into depression, and there is less chance for recovery.

The euphoria created by heroin usage gives temporary relief. This triggers addicts to use it over and over again. Also, they raise the levels of substances which finally results in a drug overdose. Severe anxiety and mood swings are also signs of heroin addiction.

1.2 Poor Personal Hygiene

Since drug addicts’ priority is getting high, they have poor personal hygiene. They depend on drugs to make them feel good. Heroin addicts do not care about their looks due to low self-esteem. There is no role for morality Or social etiquette in the world of a heroin addict.

poor personal hygiene
Photo by fizkes, shutterstock

Checking the premises of a person can say a lot. Therefore, if you spot a person lacking personal hygiene, they are likely to have an addiction. Their physical weakness makes them live in filthy environments.

Drug users are prone to skin infections and bad bodily odor. These signs assure the existence of some addiction. You can spot a heroin abuser with this symptom.

1.3 Rapid Fluctuations in Weight

Substance abuse always leads to a lack of appetite and directly affects metabolism. Addicts often fluctuate in weight. Heroin users become thin after continuous usage. This is one of the noticeable physical symptoms of heroin use.

Drug addicts are never bothered about their basic needs. Heroin has adverse effects on the intestine as well.

The hormones are responsible for creating hunger functions improperly in people who use heroin. Heroin abuse also leads to nausea. Sometimes, people who consume other drugs along with heroin may experience weight gain.

1.4 Track Marks

Another important signs of heroin addiction are the presence of track marks. The discoloration on the skin due to continuous heroin or any other drugs is called track marks. It is usually seen in forearms.

The discoloration of veins and the appearance of scabs or bruises generally indicate substance abuse. When the forearm vein is too harmed, they inject the substance through other veins or consume it using alternate intake methods.

Also, drug addicts tend to wear long sleeves and pants to hide them due to the track marks. If a person wears such clothes even in a warm climate, it indicates a fair chance of addiction. People who use heroin regularly have a high chance of getting infectious diseases.

1.5 Irregular Sleeping Patterns

Heroin addiction creates abnormalities in sleeping patterns. Opioid drugs produce profound sleepiness.

The chemical imbalances caused by drugs often lead to drowsiness or insomnia and the quality of sleep deteriorates due to rapid eye movement. This is one of the profound signs of heroin addiction.

1.6 Change in Behavior

Behavioral symptoms are easily identifiable. Drug addicts are highly vulnerable to mood swings and anxiety. They show hostility towards others and are unable to perform well at their work or academic level.

The signs and symptoms of heroin addiction include paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, and hyperactivity. Generally, the physical dependence on drugs makes the users apathetic.

Addicts lack motivation and hardly accomplish any tasks assigned to them. Another clear sign of heroin addiction is the presence of burnt spoons, needles, or wires, used for drug consumption.

2. Effects of Heroin Abuse and Heroin Overdose

Heroin addiction is harmful, and long-term heroin addiction generates problems like insomnia, mental illness, liver and kidney disease, and many infections. Drug addiction has many risk factors.

The central nervous system dysfunctions and drug addicts have constricted pupils. Inflammation of the heart lining and valves is another effect of heroin abuse4.

Heroin overdose is fatal. After continuous usage, the initial generation of euphoria with a certain amount of the substance will not be created. This is because of the tolerance developed in the body.

To get that effect, drug users raise the amount of substance abuse that leads to overdose. Signs of heroin overdose include; drowsiness, slow heart rate, blue lips, and low breathing. It is a medical emergency and should be given importance.

3. Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin addicts show the effects of withdrawal after a few hours of their last usage. They crave drugs. Restlessness, insomnia, nausea, and rapid movements are visible during heroin withdrawal.

Sometimes withdrawal has fatal effects on weak people. Unhealthy people show more disability. Heroin withdrawal symptoms 5also involve flu-like symptoms.

4. Treatment

There are various substance abuse treatment options. The detoxification treatment, along with behavioral therapy, is effective. Such medications halt the cravings for drugs.

Family members and friends should take care of addicts to prevent relapse. People who lose their tolerance are prone to overdose if not monitored properly. It takes time and medical care to remove the negative emotions and mental illness associated with drug use.

Photo by Dan Meyers,  Unsplash

To regain physical and behavioral health, the supervision of a health professional is necessary. Patients are continuously evaluated and consistently monitored in this way. Mental health services are also provided to cure heroin use disorder.

Control training and on-site visitation help addicts of heroin or other substances relieve themselves from being physically dependent on those substances.

Proper infection prevention procedures should be followed to retain health during the recovery journey. With heightened preventative measures, you can save addicts from relapse and overdose.

5. Conclusion

It is easier to fall prey to drug abuse. So, everyone should know the various signs of heroin addiction to save people from such a deadly trap.

With little effort, you can spot a heroin user or any drug abuser. Provide medical advice to them and help them recover.

Discover more healthy information.

6. FAQs

6.1 Is It Possible to Treat Heroin Addiction?

A mix of behavioral therapy and medication-assisted treatment is effective in treating heroin addiction. Counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy6, and support groups are examples of behavioral therapies. The use of medication in conjunction with therapy can help control cravings and lessen withdrawal symptoms.

6.2 What Must I Do If I Suspect a Friend or Family Member Is a Heroin Addict?

It’s crucial to take a sympathetic and understanding stance if you believe a loved one is a heroin addict. Discuss your worries with them and urge them to get expert assistance. You might also offer to connect them with support groups or assist them in finding available therapy choices. Call 911 straight away if you think they are in urgent danger, such as from an overdose.

  1. Sternbach, George, Julia Moran, and Michael Eliastam. “Heroin addiction: acute presentation of medical complications.” Annals of Emergency Medicine 9.3 (1980): 161-169. ↩︎
  2. Kapoor, L. Opium poppy: botany, chemistry, and pharmacology. CRC Press, 2020. ↩︎
  3. Iarovici, Doris. Mental health issues and the university student. JHU Press, 2014. ↩︎
  4. Lipski, Janet, Barry Stimmel, and Ephraim Donoso. “The effect of heroin and multiple drug abuse on the electrocardiogram.” American heart journal 86.5 (1973): 663-668. ↩︎
  5. Nikolaou, Kakia, et al. “Severity of withdrawal symptoms, plasma oxytocin levels, and treatment outcome in heroin users undergoing acute withdrawal.” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 49.3 (2017): 233-241. ↩︎
  6. Rothbaum, Barbara Olasov, et al. “Cognitive-behavioral therapy.” (2000). ↩︎

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf


Anjaly Rose 001

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *