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How to Spot the Warning Signs of Heroin Use
Learn to Recognize the Signs a Loved One Is Using Heroin
Heroin’s highly addictive nature means a person can quickly become physically dependent after a short period of regular use. Knowing the signs of heroin use is vitally important to help a loved one get treatment as soon as possible.
Physical dependence occurs when the person requires a more significant amount of heroin to experience its pleasurable effects and then has withdrawal symptoms when they go without it. Getting help early for heroin addiction is crucial for better chances of recovery and lowering the risk of permanent health effects, including brain damage. Being able to spot the signs of heroin use in a loved one can be lifesaving.
About Heroin and Heroin Addiction
Heroin is a powerfully addictive opioid, which causes a rapid, intense high in its users. It converts to morphine in the body when used. The physical and mental health effects are detrimental, and despite the many warnings, it remains a popular drug.
There are a variety of ways heroin is used, including injected intravenously, inhaled in powder form, or smoked. All these methods require specific tools or paraphernalia to use, which can be one way to spot a user. Heroin quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier, which is why its effects are felt almost immediately.
Users will want that high soon again, using more often each time and becoming addicted after just one use. Chronic heroin use changes the brain structure and functioning. This will then lead to physical dependence, usually to avoid the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Psychological support sets in when an individual believes they cannot function without heroin.
Withdrawal symptoms can develop as soon as a few hours after use, which can cause serious medical complications. It is essential to seek professional herio addiction help or a medical detox to come off of heroin. More likely than not, professional addiction help is necessary to deal with the addiction and treat the physical and mental aspects of the addiction to achieve long-term sobriety.
Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Use
The signs of heroin use vary significantly among individuals, having to do with genetic makeup, amount of drug used, dependency, and how frequently used. The most common symptoms include the following:
Physical Signs of Heroin Use
- Shortness of breath
- Dry mouth
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Scabs or bruises
- Decline in personal hygiene
- Constantly wearing long pants and sleeves
- Track marks on arms and legs
- Extreme itching
- Constricted pupils
- Warm, flushed skin
- Weight loss
Behavioral Signs of Heroin Use
- Anxiety and depression
- Mood swings
- Hostility towards others
- Irritability and agitation
- Increased sleeping
- Apathy and lack of motivation
- Periods of hyperactivity followed by periods of exhaustion
- Forced, pressured speech
- Alternating from a wakeful to a drowsy state, known as going “on the nod”
- Decline in performance at work or school
- Avoiding loved ones
- Lying about drug use
- Stashing drugs in various places around the home, work, and car
- Possession of drug paraphernalia such as syringes, glass pipes, burned spoons, and loose shoelaces
Treatment for Heroin Addiction at JC Recovery
The first step for treating heroin addiction is often medical detox, where the individual will receive 24-hour supervision, and medical personnel can administer pharmaceuticals to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal. It is not safe to do the detox alone. After detox, there is still plenty of work to be done to ensure long-term sobriety.
Addiction treatment facilities like JC’s Recovery offer individualized and holistic programs to help every patient have the best chance of recovering from heroin. They believe it is necessary to heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually and support this belief with their wide range of therapies. In addition to working with therapists and addiction specialists, clients also receive spiritual guidance, Bible study, and one-on-one spiritual counseling.
JC’s Recovery also offers multi-level care to help ease clients back into real life. Life-long recovery requires support outside of rehab, and they will help connect clients with the sober community to get the additional support needed to stay sober. Our faith-based program is part of all levels of treatment, whether it is a residential program, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, or regular outpatient service.
If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction and you can spot early signs of heroin use, calling JC’s Recovery at (844) 524-6873 is a great first step to get back to healthy living. Our expert staff is always happy to help guide and get you started, so please reach out to us today.