heroin symptoms and warning signs

If you fear that a parent, child or other loved one is using heroin, you are far from alone.

In fact, it is estimated that close to a million Americans use heroin each year, and sadly that number is steadily rising. It’s particularly prevalent among young people, although it’s a mistake to conclude it is only an issue for the young.

Our guide will help you to become familiar with heroin symptoms and warning signs so that you can get help for your loved one in time.

Symptoms of Addiction to Heroin

While users are taking a hit of heroin, they experience very intense feelings of euphoria. This wears off quite quickly, but the side effects last for several hours. During this period, it feels that time moves more slowly. 

Physical symptoms include narrowing of the pupils and slow speech and movements. They may feel detached from reality, in a dream-like state.

Once the effects of the hit wear off, the unpleasant side-effects begin. These can include:

  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Shivering
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Itching

These are some of the symptoms that you can expect to see in a person going through heroin addiction. Additionally, as heroin is injected, you may also notice marks, usually on the forearms, crook of the arm or back of the hands.

Because many people with a heroin addiction experience nausea and vomiting, they often undergo rapid weight loss. They may almost totally lose interest in food and eat very little. This can lead to a very gaunt appearance.

Warning Signs a Loved One May Be Abusing Heroin

As heroin belongs to the opioid family of drugs, it is a powerful sleep inducer. One of the most common heroin symptoms is the user being able to sleep for extended periods of time – far longer than the normal 8 hours. 

It can be difficult to mentally face the possibility that your child or parent has fallen victim to heroin abuse. 

However, spotting the heroin symptoms and warning signs and warning signs as early as possible and acting on them can save their life. In addition to the physical symptoms we have discussed already, there are a number of warning signs that could indicate a heroin addiction.

Is My Child Using Heroin?

As children hit puberty and beyond, their interest in their personal appearance often skyrockets. If this was the case for your child, but you’ve noticed a change, it could be a heroin addiction warning sign.

If they are no longer fastidious about cleanliness or don’t take care of their personal appearance, it could be because of the all-consuming nature of the drug.

Sadly, it can cause young people to become so focused on getting the next hit that their personal appearance goes out of the window. The health of their skin may also deteriorate, leaving them looking pale. Facial sores can be another heroin warning sign.

The change in physical appearance will also likely be accompanied by changes in mood and personality.

Heroin warning signs can include:

  • Angry outbursts
  • Withdrawal
  • Paranoia
  • Hyperactivity
  • Inability to concentrate

Also, think about your child’s schooling and associates. Have there been any changes that have puzzled you?

These could include:

  • Skipping class
  • Not caring about grades
  • New friends you don’t know
  • Lack of interest in extra-curricular activities
  • Being secretive

Some young people also resort to crime to fund their habit, and this often starts are home. You may find money or valuables going missing, or may find your child constantly asking for money without a good explanation.

The biggest tell-tale sign is finding drug paraphernalia in the house. These could include items such as burnt spoons, foil, and used needles. While they may go to great lengths to hide these, if you find them it’s time to take action.

Is My Parent Using Heroin?

You may suspect a heroin addiction if you have noticed changes in your parent’s personality or behavior. This can present itself in a number of ways.

As children are dependent on their parents financially, you may have noticed a change in your parent’s ability to pay for the necessities of life. You may notice that bills go unpaid, they may cut down on non-essential services like cable and internet.

In some cases, you may notice that decorative items, jewelry or other valuables are sold or pawned for ready money. 

If you’re an older child living at home, the tables may turn. You may find that your parents ask you for money, or borrow money that is never repaid. Sadly, heroin addiction often causes lying and manipulative behavior, even with loved ones.

On the physical and behavioral side, you may notice some of the symptoms discussed above. If these heroin symptoms and warning signs are forming a picture in your mind, it’s time to take action.

Intervention for Heroin Abuse

Staging a successful intervention is not simply about confronting the person you suspect has an addiction. 

It’s a positive process that encompasses the whole family. The family needs to be coached in how to change their behaviors so that they do not enable the addiction.

Prior to the intervention, there should be a clear path to treatment.

It is wise to work with an addiction treatment service to stage a comprehensive intervention. This will give your intervention the best chance of success. That means the greatest chance of successful treatment for your loved one. 

What To Do When You Recognize Heroin Symptoms and Warning Signs

When you recognize heroin symptoms and warning signs, don’t panic. But do take action.

Your loved one may feel they are sinking deeper and deeper with no prospect of recovery. Look out for the signs, stage a comprehensive intervention and you can be there for them to help them on the road to treatment and a brighter future. 

Help is available, and there are probably more options than you realize. Heroin addicts need a supported withdrawal, due to the severity of the symptoms of detoxing.

Contact us today for more information about getting needed treatment for your loved one.