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How To Tell if Someone Is Addicted To Heroin

If you suspect that someone you love is taking drugs, you are probably wondering what drugs they are taking and if they are addicted. You may suddenly feel like you’re playing the role of detective, and to some extent you are. If you want to tell if someone is addicted to heroin, start by paying attention to any changes in their physical appearance and demeanor. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for drug paraphernalia. Gather your evidence and examine it objectively. Compare it with the signs of drug addiction and you’ll begin to find your answers. If you find that your loved one has become addicted to drugs, Nashville Treatment Solutions is here to help them. We have a full range of addiction treatment programs that allow us to develop individualized treatment plans. 

Heroin Defined

Heroin is an opioid drug derived from morphine. It is a white or brown powder or a black sticky goo. Heroin can be ingested by snorting it, smoking it, or injecting it. Heroin has several street names, including smack, junk, black tar, horse, and H. It reaches the brain quickly and produces a feeling of euphoria. Heroin is very addictive and is chemically related to medicines such as OxyContin and Vicodin.

Researchers have found that misuse of prescription opioid pain medicines can lead to heroin use, with nearly eighty percent of heroin users having first misused these medicines. While the abuse of opioids is cause for concern, heroin use is even more dangerous. Heroin is an illegal drug and does not come labeled with a dose. Those who use heroin often need to use more and more to get the same effect. This need for more drugs coupled with the varying strengths of heroin creates the perfect storm for an overdose. 

How To Tell if Someone Is Addicted To Heroin

But how can you tell if someone is addicted to heroin? The first step is to find out what heroin addiction looks like physically. There are some signs common to all heroin users no matter how the drug is ingested, and then there are those that are unique to the method. All heroin users will have pinpoint pupils, flu-like symptoms (when not using), a constant runny nose, and dark circles or puffiness under the eyes. Most will seem to be moving more slowly and seem almost sleepy. Many will also have sores from scratching or picking at their skin because using heroin causes itchiness. Those who smoke heroin may have a cigarette smoke smell and a persistent cough. They will also likely have sores or burns on their nostrils, lips, and fingers. Heroin users who inject their heroin will have track marks. They may also develop infections or abscesses in the areas where they inject the heroin. 

Beyond the physical symptoms and changes in demeanor, you may find yourself noticing things that don’t add up. Are there any prescription pills missing from the medicine cabinet? Are you missing any money or valuables?  And then there are the odd items that may start showing up. Perhaps you have noticed paraphernalia such as the following:

  • Aluminum foil or gum wrappers with burn marks
  • Small plastic bags
  • Tiny cotton balls or q-tips
  • Needles or syringes
  • Spoons with burn marks
  • Straws with burn marks
  • Rubber straps, belts, or missing shoelaces

What To Do if Someone Is Addicted To Heroin

At Nashville Treatment Solutions, we believe that everyone’s recovery journey is unique and we will tailor treatment plans for you or your loved one. Our multifaceted treatment modalities will help build a solid foundation for your recovery journey. 

We have a wide range of programs to treat addiction, including a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) and an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), which can be followed with our Outpatient Counseling (OP).  Connect with us today to see how we can best support you and your loved one in the journey to sobriety!