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What You Need to Know About Heroin Addiction Symptoms

When someone chooses to use heroin, they are introducing something to their body that will destroy it. Heroin’s impact on the body isn’t always apparent at first, but continual use has a profound impact on the user’s health.

It’s important to educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of heroin abuse so that you can know when you or a loved one is in need of help.

Understanding the Signs of Heroin Addiction

Heroin is an extremely dangerous substance that has a high rate of addiction. A person only needs to use heroin once or twice before their body physically craves or depends on the drug. 

Heroin dramatically affects the way a person feels mentally and the behavior they exhibit. Their friends, family, or coworkers may notice changes in their attitude and behavior before the user themselves notice these changes or admit that they are taking place. Because heroin users often keep their drug usage a secret, their addiction already has a stronghold over them before their loved ones can recognize the problem.

Heroin Abuse Symptoms

The negative effects of heroin don’t take effect right away. If they did, no one would ever want to use it a second time. Early on, heroin reels users in with feelings of euphoria and a sense of well-being. They may also experience:

  • Sensations of pleasure
  • Relief from pain
  • Relief from depression and anxiety
  • A feeling of warmth throughout the body
  • A sense of heaviness in limbs
  • A sedative effect
  • A sense of lethargy once the high fades away
  • A slowed heart rate

When a heroin user reaches a state of heavy sleepiness with a slowed heart rate, they enter into a dangerous critical point when death from overdose can occur. It’s important to note that a person can die from overdose even after their first use because you never know how a person’s body will react to the substance.

Long-Term Symptoms of Heroin Use

There are long-term signs of snorting, injecting, and other heroin consumption methods to keep in mind as well. The impacts of heroin use can linger for months or even years after a person discontinues the use of the drug. They may even begin to affect a person before they realize that they have a problem:

  • Dental issues like receding gums or broken teeth
  • Skin sores
  • Bruises
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Drastic changes in sleeping patterns
  • Track marks / Swelling in the area the heroin is injected
  • A weakened immune system
  • Liver and kidney trouble
  • Decrease of oxygen throughout the body, impacting the brain
  • Infections at injection sites
  • Abscesses in the mouth
  • Infections of the heart and lungs
  • Withdrawal (found in children who use heroin)

If you believe that a person close to you might be abusing heroin, looking out for these signs can be helpful for recognizing that they need help right away. 

Intervention and Treatment for Heroin Addiction

If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction, it’s important to know that there are places to turn to for help. If you’ve noticed the physical signs of heroin use in yourself or someone important to you, then seeking out the support and treatment you need to safely and effectively overcome the addiction is an essential step to getting life back on track.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you to know how to spot a heroin user, so you can help yourself or your loved ones to get the necessary aid and treatments.

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