The abuse of heroin, an opiate derived from the poppy plant, continues to be prevalent in the U.S., in spite of the fact that many synthetic opioids like fentanyl and oxycodone have appeared on the scene over the last 40 years. Heroin abuse has, in fact, doubled among younger Americans in the last decade. Every year many people die from heroin overdoses, and more than half a million people in the U.S. are addicted to this destructive opiate. Heroin wreaks havoc in the lives of those who are addicted and everyone who loves them. If you know someone who is struggling with heroin addiction, or if you are worried about your own heroin abuse, seek out a heroin addiction treatment program today.
Being sober is far better than being a statistic. Clearhaven Recovery can help you take those first critical steps in your substance abuse treatment. Please reach out to learn how. You can use our online form or call us at 833.970.2054.
Signs of Heroin Addiction
At one time heroin was used for medical purposes but was declared illegal in 1924 as its popularity increased and concerns about its addictive qualities and often deadly outcomes grew.
If you are not sure how to tell if someone you care about is addicted to heroin, there are many possible indicators. The three most comprehensive signs of heroin addiction are below and comprise perceivable side effects, medical damage, and personality changes.
1. Physical Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Abuse
These are what is evident when someone is using heroin, or in the hours and days after a binge. They are not all visual clues. Some are out of the ordinary behaviors that are readily identified. Two or three of the following signs that appear with some regularity or a preponderance of them at once would indicate possible heroin abuse.
- Dry mouth
- Flushed skin
- Abnormal somnolence
- Suppressed breathing
- Loss of self-control
- Feelings of heaviness
- Confused thinking or disorientation
- Difficulty making decisions
- Memory loss
- Excessive sleepiness at random times
- Needle tracks (look out for long-sleeves even in hot weather)
- Pinpoint pupils
2. Medical Side Effects
Serious medical conditions reflect the toll heroin abuse and addiction take on someone’s health. If a previously healthy individual suddenly develops serious health complications, and you suspect heroin use, your concerns may be well-founded. Some of the health outcomes that result from the abuse of heroin include:
- Blood clots, heart attack, strokes
- Compromised lungs and breathing difficulties
- Organ damage and kidney, heart, and liver disease
- Compromised immune system and thus frequent infections
- Auto-immune responses (arthritis, rheumatologic issues)
- Sexual dysfunction, amenorrhea, and infertility
3. Personality Changes
When someone is using heroin regularly, what made the person who they were seems to ebb away, leaving a seemingly different person, someone who is just going through the motions, because acquiring, taking, and recovering from heroin become all-consuming. If you notice this kind of substantive change in someone, they need your help. A few of the changes you may notice include:
- Abandoning or neglecting relationships that once mattered.
- Falling apart financially – This includes the inability to pay bills, constant borrowing, being broke for no apparent reason, even stealing.
- Disregarding life’s daily tasks, such as basic hygiene, car upkeep, grocery shopping, cooking, even caring for a beloved pet.
- Completely losing interest in a job or career that once meant a great deal – They may get fired, be put on probation, or simply quit or walk off the job.
- Living in filth or chaos – Even people who once cared about cleanliness and order will stop caring when addicted to heroin.
- Giving up on all previously loved hobbies – The reader sells all his books, the painter’s canvases gather dust, the hiker never goes outside.
Find a Heroin Treatment Program in Boston at Clearhaven Recovery
If the symptoms above raise an alarm, don’t hesitate to find out more. Whether your concerns are for yourself or someone you care about, now is always the right time to seek information and help.
The first steps in substance abuse treatment are best and most safely taken at a professional and evidence-based heroin addiction treatment program. Start your life of recovery in good hands at Clearhaven Recovery. We offer a range of options from partial hospitalization and day or night intensive outpatient programs to men’s and women’s rehab.
To learn how we can help, call us at 833.970.2054 or fill out our online form. We will usher you or your loved one from dependence to independence and a meaningful life of wellness and recovery.