By: Lakeview Health
More than four million Americans have used heroin at some point in their lives, and a significant percentage of them will form addictions to the drug. Heroin addiction can be a devastating problem that negatively impacts everything from physical health to personal relationships. By learning to spot heroin drug addiction signs, loved ones might be able to get help and treatment sooner.
Frequent Memory Loss
One of the immediate side effects of heroin use is operating at a slower pace, feeling lethargic and experiencing fatigue. During this time, it’s typical for those addicted to heroin to also experience memory loss. When talking with a friend or family member, be aware of excuses justifying this memory loss. Things like being busy or not sleeping well are common reasons for memory lapses, but heroin addiction might be the true culprit. Unfortunately, some of these moments of lapsed memory are when too much of the drug has been consumed. This may be what leads to overdoses, because the heart rate slows and the body begins to shut down. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, heroin is responsible for more than 10,000 overdose fatalities in the United States in 2014 alone.
Increase in Drug Paraphernalia
Another of the most common heroin drug addiction signs is an increase in the amount of drug paraphernalia visible. Parents, partners and loved ones should be familiar with the most commonly used drug paraphernalia in order to better understand what items are used for heroin consumption. Parents should be especially watchful for the signs of teen drug abuse because early intervention can save the life of a young person.
Injection is the most common means of heroin consumption, which means that syringes, hypodermic needles, and spoons are all things to look for. Pieces of cord or rubber tubing might also be used when injecting heroin. Heroin can also be smoked, so be on the lookout for small glass pipes or burned aluminum foil. Heroin typically comes in small plastic bags, so a collection of these might indicate heavy use or addiction.
Use of Laxatives
One of the most widespread side effects of opiates like heroin is constipation. Most users complain of this condition, and most heavy users compensate by relying on laxatives. Over time, many individuals addicted to heroin use laxatives regularly, so regular consumption could certainly be a sign of opiate abuse or addiction
Changes in Physical Appearance
Individuals addicted to heroin may begin to show outward signs of heavy heroin use. A few of the most common include:
- Small or dilated pupils
- Runny nose
- Flushed, red cheeks
Changes in Actions and Behavior
Changes to behavior are also likely as a result of a heroin addiction. Heavy users might have a tendency to eat less and lose weight quickly, scratch their skin more often or wear long sleeves to cover up possible injection sites. Recognizing heroin drug addiction signs might point to the need for addiction treatment. Call Lakeview Health in Florida at 866-704-7692 to find out how to break free from a heroin addiction today.