Signs and Symptoms – Heroin Abuse

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Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Abuse

Heroin is a drug that is processed from Morphine, which is derived from the poppy plant that grows in several parts of the world. The United States is responsible for the consumption of nearly 40 percent of the world’s heroin. This lethal drug makes its way from Mexico, South American and Southeast Asia all the way to the U.S. where users either snort, smoke or us it intravenously. In this country, heroin can be referred to as H, dog, junk, tar and dope; just to name a few.

Since there are several ways to consume this drug, there are plenty of things that friends and family can look for. If the drug is being snorted, the drug usually comes in small paper envelopes known as “slips” or “bags”. Typically, someone abusing heroin will use more than one bag a day, so be on the lookout for these small 1 inch by half inch slips. A large part of the nation’s heroin also comes in a whitish to tan powder, so be on the lookout for residue on tables or other flat surfaces. Dollar bills that appear to have been rolled up and small straws are also a sign that a loved one may be snorting heroin. If they are smoking the drug, small glass pips and tin foil can be used. However, a majority of heroin users tend to progress to shooting the drug so always be on the lookout for needles, orange needle caps, and items that could be used to tie around the addict’s arm such as belts, wires and tourniquets. Someone constantly wearing long sleeve shirts should also raise a red flag because they could be concealing track marks on their arms and hands.

Changes in a person’s attitude and overall well-being could be extremely obvious for someone who knows what to look for in a person they suspect of abusing heroin. One of the most obvious sign is that a person will constantly be tired and nodding off. Heroin users are known to fall asleep sitting up or even standing. Heroin produces an intense euphoria, so someone who has just used may appear to be talkative and energetic, but will eventually become very lethargic and look fatigued.  Disorientation, confusion and a declining sense of responsibility and care are also obvious signs of heroin abuse because the user is typically very distracted by their thoughts and fears of becoming sick and planning their next fix. Longer term symptoms of heroin abuse include extreme weight loss, odd sleeping patterns, constant flu like symptoms from being “dope sick” and scabs from picking and scratching. Close friends and family members of someone abusing heroin will typically notice that valuables and money are missing because a heroin user’s biggest fear is becoming sick and they are usually willing to go much further to obtain their next fix.

If you are noticing these signs in a friend or family member or are abusing heroin yourself, please call The Owl’s Nest now.