Heroin Abuse [Recognizing the Signs & Symptoms]

Why Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Abuse is More Important Than You Think

Heroin is a synthesized opioid pain reliever derived from the Asian opium poppy plant. Addiction to heroin is a persistent, relapsing disease distinguished by alterations in the brain and uncontrollable drug-seeking behaviors regardless of adverse and life-threatening outcomes. Because it changes to morphine when introduced into the body, heroin users are rarely honest about the substances they are using. An addict may try to conceal signs of use, such as wearing long-sleeved clothing to cover needle marks, but recognizing the signs of heroin use enables early detection of addiction and the chance to make an agreement for recovery.

Symptoms of Heroin Addiction

One of the sad things about heroin addiction is that addicts are rarely aware of the damage they are doing to their lives. They often neglect their needs because acquiring the daily dose of heroin is far more powerful. Because they may not eat properly, they can look haggard if heroin abuse is heavy or prolonged. Family members and friends may have to do a lot of investigating to figure out if heroin is the drug being abused by tracking the symptoms and signs, such as:

  • Hyper-alertness, then abruptly nodding off
  • Drooping appearance as if limbs are heavy
  • Sudden behavior changes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Disorientation
  • Small pupils

The signs and symptoms of heroin addiction will vary among users based upon genetic makeup, amount of the drug used, frequency of use, and dependency on the drug.

Heroin Dependence Side Effects

Heroin is a fast-acting opiate. When injected, a surge of euphoria arrives almost immediately. Those using the drug other ways, such as smoking or snorting, may not feel the impact as rapidly. Users get dry mouths, their skin may flush, and pupils constrict. Heroin is an opiate, so it suppresses pain but it also dangerously slows breathing, which is how an overdose is lethal. Major side effects include:

  • Lung damage
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart damage
  • Cognitive deficits
  • Uncontrollable itching

Other effects include skin diseases, collapsed and scarred veins, and seizures.

Approaching Heroin Addicts about Seeking Treatment

Few heroin addicts ask for help. The majority fear the pain and sickness that accompany withdrawal. It is often up to friends and family members to rescue the heroin-addicted addict and get them into treatment. Addiction and heroin abuse are extremely dangerous and serious medical diseases that require help from chemical dependency specialists with expertise in opiate detox and withdrawal. Wasatch Crest treatment center can assist family members to approach their loved ones about heroin abuse and treatment options.

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