Signs of Heroin Use

Signs of Heroin Use

Signs of Heroin Use in Teens

Heroin use among teens and young adults is growing. The addictive nature of heroin and its history of easy accessibility and availability make it a popular drug in Jacksonville and across the country. Heroin is classified as Schedule-I drug under the Controlled Substances Act; it profoundly impairs the social and occupational functioning of the user. Heroin has no approved medical use, but it is one of the most widely abused drugs in the country. Developing an addiction to heroin as a teenager is an indication that substance use disorder treatment is necessary.

People turn to heroin in search of the rush of temporary relief from pain, anxiety, and any discomfort. Heroin users report feelings of indescribable euphoria and a complete absence of all physical pain and emotional distress when they consume the drug, which makes it so addictive. At Lakeview Health, we offer heroin addiction treatment for people 18 years and older. Contact us to learn more about our remarkable treatment programs by calling 866.704.7692.

What Is In Heroin?

Pure heroin is created using extract from the opium poppy, but heroin producers and distributors often add other ingredients like fentanyl, household cleaners, and other toxins in order to increase its potency. Many individuals find themselves addicted to heroin after becoming dependent on doctor-prescribed pain medication like oxycodone. Because heroin is significantly less expensive than most prescribed opioids, it’s easier to acquire. Developing a tolerance to any kind of opioid or pain medication can easily result in heroin addiction in a relatively short brief of time.

Adding chemicals makes heroin much more deadly. Pure heroin is less likely to cause death than heroin that has been mixed with fentanyl; however, teens using heroin have no way to know all of the ingredients in a bag of heroin. The more heroin a person is using, the more heroin they will need in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Consequently, one’s risk of an overdose increases as heroin intake increases.

Heroin Paraphernalia

Heroin and other opioids like fentanyl and oxycodone can be injected, smoked, and snorted. If you notice that your teen is becoming increasingly withdrawn, lethargic, angry, or is constantly complaining of sickness before insisting on leaving the house, check your child’s room for the following items:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Straws or pipes
  • Lighters or candles
  • Cigarettes, marijuana, or rolling papers
  • Plates in strange places
  • Hypodermic needles
  • Bottle caps
  • Cotton balls
  • Tie-offs

For a teen using heroin, early intervention makes the recovery process much more manageable. Contact Lakeview Health to learn more.

What Are the Side Effects of Heroin Use?

It’s normal to worry about the well-being of your child, especially if you suspect he or she is using heroin. Heroin is highly addictive and can have a lasting impact on your child’s life if use is continued over time. Teenage drug abuse can turn into substance abuse, which can turn into an addiction. Noticing the signs of heroin use in teens can allow you to step in before his or her drug use develops into a more serious problem.

Side effects of heroin abuse include:

Impaired mental functioning
Semiconsciousness (nodding out)
Respiratory distress
Severe itching and picking at the skin
Damaged veins and tissue
Constipation and stomach cramps
Heart and lung infections
Sexual dysfunction
Abscesses, bleeding, and scabs
Nausea and vomiting
Liver and kidney disease
AIDS and Hepatitis C
Collapsed veins
Bacterial infections

Public Health Consequences of Heroin Use

Opioids kill approximately 200 people per day in the U.S.. Close to a third of those deaths involve heroin.  A heroin overdose causes respiratory depression. This deprives the brain of oxygen. When the body and brain are deprived of oxygen, the heart is no longer able to function. This leads to unconsciousness, coma, brain damage, and death. Brain damage begins to occur after only a few minutes of decreased oxygen to the brain.

Addiction is an isolating, frightening, and destructive disease. In some cases it my turn families against and communities against each other. While your teen may have attended addiction treatment in the past, our comprehensive list of services is continually evolving based on the most current addiction research. Our clinical treatment approach to treating heroin addiction is based on proven medical research. At Lakeview, we offer the guidance, strategies, and network teens need while they are overcoming a heroin addiction. The addiction treatment at Lakeview is research-based, community-centered, and mindful.

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Heroin Addiction Treatment

If a teen is using heroin, there is a good chance that it, or another drug, controls their consciousness. A drug addiction treatment center can help your loved one take their life back. At our Jacksonville drug treatment facility, medically-assisted detox will help ease the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. When a teen is dealing with heroin withdrawal, parents may experience some difficult physical symptoms. For instance, some withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Seizures
  • Intense cravings
  • Sweating
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations

Due to heron’s withdrawal symptoms, it’s vital to have a treatment team that provides your teen with the aid they need to ease the symptoms of withdrawal. During medical detox, they will receive medical care, medication, nutrition, and a comfortable place to rest.

The Dangers of Long-Term Heroin Use

Over an extended period of time, those who regularly use heroin may develop a tolerance. That means the brain will become accustomed to the drug intake, making it harder to achieve a high when using the drug. If that happens, your child may take more heroin in order to achieve the same high he or she felt the first time the drug was used. Eventually, teens may feel like they have to take heroin in order to avoid opiate withdrawal symptoms, which can include things such as:

  • Aches and pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Cravings

If withdrawal symptoms emerge, it’s a sign that your child has developed a heroin dependence. Without help, that dependence could easily transition into heroin addiction. When teens become addicted, they feel like they have to continue their drug use in order to feel normal, regardless of the consequences continued drug use will have on their life.

Physical Signs of Heroin Use and Misuse

Even if your loved one has only used heroin once, there may be some physical signs that you notice. Though the symptoms of heroin use and the signs of opiate use will vary from person to person, the following symptoms are typical:

  • Visible injection site
  • Constricted pupils
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Shallow breathing

If your child’s drug use has resulted in an overdose, there are several more severe physical symptoms that may arise. Some of these symptoms could require you to send your child to a hospital. Knowing the signs of a heroin overdose can help you, and the medical staff save your loved one’s life. Heroin overdose symptoms include:

  • Incredibly shallow breaths
  • Blue nails or lips
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Psychological Signs of Heroin Use

Because heroin affects the communication center of the brain, there will be some psychological and behavioral changes involved with using heroin. One time use is only going to have minor signs show up, such as:

  • Clouded thoughts
  • Euphoria
  • Drowsiness

These psychological effects of heroin can last a few hours. When heroin works its way out of the system, it’s common for the user to “crash” and experience significant mood swings. Some users may even experience cravings along with opiate withdrawal symptoms that increase the risk of relapse.

What To Do If Your Loved One Has a Heroin Addiction

Regardless of how long your loved one has been using heroin, getting professional help is the right thing to do. With the help of doctors, therapy programs, and medical assistance, your child can transition into a sober life. At the right treatment center, you can even be a part of your child’s recovery process through family therapy programs.

At Lakeview Health, we provide the full continuum of care your loved one needs to heal from heroin addiction. The process begins with heroin detox, where the harmful substances will leave the system under the care of our medical professionals.

From there, your loved one will participate in our residential treatment program. They are able to remain at our facility to fully immerse themselves in our modalities. Our evidence-based therapies and holistic approaches to healing make the care at Lakeview Health unmatched by others.

Hope For People Addicted to Heroin

If your teen is struggling with heroin dependence or the warning signs of addiction, don’t wait for help. Reach out and contact Lakeview Health today to talk about treatment options. Let our team of difference makers begin to make a difference in your life today.

A heroin addiction treatment program specifically designed for teens is available at Lakeview Health. Through our program, your loved one will receive the care they need to turn their life around. Contact Lakeview Health today at 866.704.7692 for the addiction treatment programs your loved one needs.