Five Indications of Heroin Abuse among People You Know
Opioids are prescribed to help individuals cope with severe pain. However, since opioids have both pain relieving and psychological properties, they are among the most abused types of prescription drugs. Unfortunately, regular use of opioid prescriptions can also lead to addiction, and potentially to heroin use. Drug dependency can cause the best of people to seek out drugs on the street; the neighbors next door, a co-worker, your kid’s teacher, the local dentist, and your elderly parents, are all potential heroin addicts!
So what are the signs or symptoms of heroin use that you may observe in someone close to you? Here are five indications that someone may have a problem and is in need of help:
- Suspicious evidence: Heroin is smoked, snorted or injected. You might find paraphernalia and remnants of heroin use laying around the room or house of someone you suspect is using. This could include syringes, burnt spoons, glass pipes, tinny baggies, little folded pieces of foil, or razor blades, to give a few of the possibilities.
- Behavior changes: Lying or deceptive behavior may become very common, along with confusion and moodiness, or even hostility as heroin use progresses. Over time, people have very little motivation and no interest in favorite activities. You may notice that the person you care about is depressed or anxious. They may begin to disregard their appearance and hygiene.
- Physical symptoms: Often users will get a dry mouth and you may notice that their pupils will be constricted or look like pinpoints. Their eyes get unusually puffy and may develop dark circles around them. Other signs of heroin use are itching, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and constipation. You may see the person develop a habit of excessive sleeping and nodding off.
- Social changes: Withdrawal from friends and family, along with the sudden appearance of new friends who are substance abusers, could signal new drug connections and sympathetic substance abuse partners. Drug abusers will often begin to neglect their family and responsibilities because the acquisition of heroin can consume their time and life.
- Denial of any problem: People who abuse heroin seldom are aware of the real damage being done to their lives. Although some heroin addicts realize that they need help, the majority will deny any problem out of ignorance of how bad the situation has become or because they fear the pain and sickness of withdrawal. They may also feel embarrassed or afraid of others being judgmental about their drug use. Sometimes people need to hear that they are not hiding what they are doing, and you can be a true friend by talking to them about your concern. Realizing that they have a problem is the first step on the road to recovery for all heroin users.