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Signs of Heroin Abuse

Signs of Heroin Abuse and Addiction

The signs of heroin abuse are fairly hard to miss. Even so, there are those who are addicted to it, but remain completely unaware. Many people believe that they have control over their drug use, but the truth is, it probably started controlling them long ago.

If you are abusing heroin, or if you are addicted, you deserve to know the truth. You need to know the signs, and where to turn for help.

This is also true if you have a loved one who might be abusing or addicted to heroin. Because the regulations surrounding prescription opioids have gotten stricter, many have turned to heroin instead. It presents a cheaper, more available, more potent option for them.

Do you or a loved one have a problem with heroin? Call us today at 425.414.3530 to learn more about heroin addiction treatment.

Do You Have Questions About Addiction? Call Our Recovery Experts Now.

What is heroin and what does it do?

What is Heroin and What Does it do?

Heroin is an opiate drug that is extracted from the poppy plant. It can take on different forms, but it is most commonly sold as a white or brown powder. In some cases, it may be sold as a black, sticky, substance that has the appearance of tar. This form is called Black Tar Heroin, and it is considered the least pure and most dangerous type.

The drug is usually cut with other substances, such as sugar, cornstarch or even caffeine. There have even been reports of a deadly form of heroin that has been cut with Fentanyl or Carfentanil.

When people use heroin, they usually smoke it, snort it, or inject it into a vein. It attaches to the brain’s opioid receptors where it acts quickly. Some experts even believe that it is possible to become addicted with the very first use.

Signs of Heroin Use and Abuse

What are the Signs of Heroin Abuse?

In most cases, it is not difficult to tell if someone has been abusing heroin. They may have many of the more common signs of abuse, including:

  • Appearing to be moving very slowly.
  • Not thinking as quickly as they usually do.
  • Feeling as though they are in a dream.
  • Having very small, pinpoint pupils
  • Having track marks on their arms or other parts of their bodies if they have been injecting the drug.
  • Going through withdrawal when the drug wears off.

When people use heroin, they often have a very difficult time staying awake. They may struggle with nodding off at strange times, such as when they are sitting up.

Signs of Heroin Abuse

There are other signs that someone might be using heroin as well. It is possible that they could be:

  • Demonstrating drastic changes in their behaviors.
  • Spending time with a group of friends who use drugs.
  • Skipping out on social engagements or special events.
  • Skipping school or work so they can use.
  • Stealing money or valuables in order to pay for drugs.
  • Unable to explain where they got the money from for heroin.
  • Struggling with important relationships in their lives.
  • Being very secretive so they can keep on hiding their substance abuse.
Signs of Heroin Addiction

Most people start out using painkillers innocently. They are given medications by a doctor, and they may or may not know of their addictive potential. As they continue taking them, they soon begin to feel like they need them. The drugs produce a powerful sensation of euphoria, which is actually an increase of dopamine in the brain, as we discussed earlier.

Eventually, the brain loses the ability of producing dopamine on its own. The result is that people feel the need to use in order to feel like themselves. They use to feel normal.

symptoms of heroin use and withdrawal

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

There are several symptoms that are considered typical for people going through heroin withdrawal. They include:

  • Achy muscles
  • Eye tearing
  • Excessive yawning
  • Intense cravings
  • Excessive sweating
  • Problems sleeping
  • Anger and agitation
  • Anxiety symptoms
  • Stomach cramps
  • Symptoms of diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting

Why is the Heroin Death Rate so High?

The number of people who have suffered fatal overdoses on heroin has been increasing steadily over the last several years. In fact, in 2002, there were about 2,000 people who died from overdosing on this drug. By 2017, that number had gone up to almost 16,000.

There are a few different reasons why that number is so high. First and foremost, it has increased because of the opioid epidemic our country is facing. Opiate drugs like heroin have become much too common, which means more lives have been taken as a result.

Many people will lose their lives to fatal overdoses after the first time they use the drug. It is very easy to misjudge how much an appropriate dose is. That means that with their first use, they take too much and end up overdosing.

Even more people suffer from fatal heroin overdoses because they attempt to quit and then relapse. When they do, they simply go back to taking the same amount they previously took. What they do not realize is that their tolerance level has dropped, and their old dose is now too much for them to handle. This is why so many people pass away once they return to using heroin.

A Heroin Addiction Treatment Center in Seattle Can Help

If you or a loved one is struggling with a heroin addiction, it is important to seek help. A heroin addiction treatment center in Seattle can provide you with the resources you need to overcome your addiction. Northpoint Seattle offers a variety of programs and services that can help you get your life back on track, including:

  • Detoxification services
  • Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Medication-assisted therapy
  • Aftercare and relapse prevention services

Don’t let heroin addiction run your life another minute longer. Give us a call today at 425.414.3530 to get started.

Northpoint Seattle

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