Signs Someone Is Addicted to Heroin and How to Help
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Recognize the warning signs of heroin addiction so you can guide your loved one toward recovery.

Signs Someone Is Addicted to Heroin and How to Help

It can be hard to accept that someone close to you needs heroin treatment. But heroin is a drug that can impact the lives of anyone, no matter their age, race, gender or income. The extremely addictive drug can appear as a white, brown or black sticky substance. If you suspect that someone you know and love is using heroin, you should do some preliminary research and proceed with caution.

Educate yourself so that you fully understand the warning signs of a heroin addiction before confronting someone. Once it’s confirmed that they’re abusing the drug, you can better help them on their road to recovery and sobriety, starting with heroin rehab.

Warning Signs

There are several red flags that indicate someone you know and love is likely using heroin. Keep in mind that not every addict will exhibit the same set of signs. Addicts are good at hiding their addiction, so make sure that you’re paying close attention to their health and daily behavior.

Paraphernalia. Look for the presence of heroin paraphernalia. This includes needles, cotton and small bowls that could be used to dissolve heroin in water.

Use of Street Slang in Relation to Heroin. If someone you know begins using nicknames for heroin, it could be an indication that they are using. Heroin users tend to interact with other heroin or illicit drug users and their terminology will naturally seep into your loved one’s vocabulary. Street names include junk, dope, smack, H, white and black tar. And the actual use of heroin can be referred to as chasing the dragon, skin-popping and speed-balling.

Legal Trouble. Heroin is not cheap, and it becomes even more unaffordable when the user is unable to work due to their addiction. Thus, heroin addicts may turn to crime in order to get their fix. This can include stealing from others, drug dealing or other nefarious activities. When confronted, the addict may apologize or deny any wrongdoing.

Loss of Focus or Interest. Someone who’s addicted to heroin often will lose interest in work, school or familial responsibilities. Heroin becomes their sole focus and they can rarely think of anything else. They’ll also withdraw from friends and family.

Flushed Skin and Dry Mouth. Users of heroin will often appear flushed and experience dry mouth when they’re on heroin.

Nodding Off. Someone who is on heroin may appear to nod off for no real reason, alternating between consciousness and semi-consciousness.

Confusion and Memory Loss. It can be very difficult to have a coherent conversation with someone who is on heroin. They may have a hard time remembering things that were just said and will appear as if they’re falling asleep.

Tiny Pupils. An easy tell that someone is on heroin is that they may appear to have tiny pupils, almost as small as a pinpoint.

Track Marks. Track marks can also be a telling sign of heroin use. But don’t just look to the inside of the arm. Users can inject themselves behind the knees and even between toes.

Abscesses at Injection Points. In addition to track marks, long-time heroin users may develop abscesses at the injection points, as well as collapsed veins and infections.

Withdrawal Symptoms. Someone who is using a smaller dose of heroin than they normally would or who is attempting to stop cold turkey will show signs and symptoms of withdrawal. These signs can include: pain throughout the body, cold flashes and goosebumps, anxiety, digestive issues, involuntary leg movements, vomiting, restlessness, insomnia, depression or paranoia.

How To Help

The withdrawal symptoms outlined above can be difficult for someone who’s dealing with addiction to handle. But you can help them on their path to recovery and make life a little easier for them along the way.

Convince Your Loved One To Get Heroin Treatment

The first step toward sobriety is admitting that you have a problem and that you need help. Once your loved one has come clean, you need to suggest that they go to a facility for heroin treatment. It can sometimes be hard to convince an addict that they need professional help and that they can’t do this on their own. But with patience, love and encouragement, it can be done.

Determine Which Heroin Treatment Program Is Best

There are two core options when it comes to heroin rehab: inpatient and outpatient drug rehabilitation.

Inpatient drug rehab is an intensive, residential heroin treatment program designed to help serious addictions. When a loved one is in one of these heroin rehab facilities, there are some important things you can do to help support them. This includes educating yourself on what goes on in a residential abuse treatment facility and offering constant encouragement and emotional support.

Outpatient rehab is a part-time program that allows a recovering addict to continue going to work or school during the day. This course of treatment is not just for those with a mild addiction, but it can also be a good next step for those who’ve completed their residential abuse treatment program. The best way to help your loved one who’s going through outpatient rehab is to create a substance-free environment for them, and make sure that they feel loved and supported.

Daylight Recovery Services is Here to Help

If you feel that you need help from a professional interventionist or guidance from drug treatment experts, Daylight Recovery Services is here for you. Our mission is to ultimately help addicts and their loved ones through the recovery process to reach sobriety. If you need more information or help convincing a loved one to get heroin treatment, reach out to our trained staff today.

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