Heroin is a painkiller used in some countries. It has been illegal in the United States for almost 100 years, but people continue to use it recreationally. Many of those who use heroin were first addicted to other opioids. Often those painkillers were prescribed to treat pain from an injury, surgery, or a chronic medical condition.
Heroin Abuse and Addiction
Not approved for medical use in the U.S., heroin is a highly addictive and sometimes deadly opioid. It is so addictive an individual might start showing signs of addiction after only one or two uses of the drug.
During the last decade, heroin use has doubled between individuals ages 18 to 25. There are some prescription opioids such as Vicodin and OxyContin that provide similar effects like those you might get from heroin.
Individuals who suffer from addiction to heroin need to get treatment from a medical professional. Heroin is a dangerous drug, and there is a risk of a fatal overdose because of how the body builds up a tolerance and the need for more heroin is necessary to get the same euphoric response.
Several signs might indicate an individual is using heroin. If you notice any of these signs or behaviors, you should seek professional guidance from a drug rehab facility.
Signs of Heroin Addiction
By being attentive and noticing an individual’s appearance and actions, you can recognize the signs of heroin use and addiction. Here are some of the more common signs of heroin addiction.
- The eyes can reflect signs of drug abuse. Someone who is taking opioids will have tiny pupils.
- You can notice signs of drug abuse in the skin. Someone who is using heroin intravenously will have needle marks or tracks on their arms and they will have bruising. Liver damage could cause yellowing of the skin.
- Weight can fluctuate because of drug use. When an individual is abusing opioids, his or her weight can dramatically change.
- Sleep disturbances are also common. Someone who is using opioids might be drowsy or fall asleep more often.
- Mood changes are also common in those who are taking heroin or other opioids. Heroin will cause an initial euphoric feeling, but those will revert to some negative feelings, such as irritability, depression, anger, and acting irrationally are common.
- The perceptions of someone using heroin will not correspond with reality. As an example, they might see or hear things that aren’t there, be delusional, or experience various sensory hallucinations. The individual might even make statements that don’t respond to non-existent stimuli and have feelings of paranoia.
- Someone using heroin might have extreme shifts in functioning and unusual behaviors. Some actions might include drastic belief changes, working hard to conceal their actions, going missing for long periods of time, establishing new routines with different friends, random unexplainable injuries and illnesses, and having drug paraphernalia in their possession, such as large sums of cash, pill bottles, needles, baggies, and scales.
- Physical changes and/or Heroin and opioids slow and relax the body. They can lead to disorientation and confusion, cause constipation and stomach problems, and cause drowsiness and dizziness. Sometimes the opioid user will fall asleep during a conversation because they are so drowsy.
Treating Heroin Addiction
Heroin use is dangerous. Many people overdose on heroin because after having become addicted, there is a need for more and more of the drug to get the same results that the individual had gotten previously. Just like any other kind of drug abuse, when an individual stops heroin use, he or she will go through withdrawals. Heroin withdrawal symptoms can vary significantly from one individual to another. But the withdrawal process usually isn’t fatal unless the individual relapses the overdoses.
There are many different programs used to effectively treat heroin addiction. When you are choosing a facility to treat yourself or a loved one, take the time to ask questions and understand the program so you can make the right decision regarding the treatment program. There are many payment options as well, so you don’t have to make cost an excuse for not seeking the care and treatment that is needed.
Most health insurance plans will pay toward drug rehab treatment. If you don’t have health insurance or the funds available to cover the cost of the treatment programs, many facilities offer payment programs and financing. Don’t put off getting help for heroin addiction, call a treatment facility near you today.