Most of us have at least heard of heroin and know that it is one of the most dangerous addictive substances that exist. What many may not know are the signs that someone is on heroin.
Like many addictive substances, the signs that a person is using or addicted to heroin can be hard to detect. We hope to help by explaining some of these signs and how to get help for your loved one if they are on or addicted to heroin.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is an illegal drug that is derived from some forms of the poppy plant. It is processed from morphine and was previously routinely used as a standard pain reliever up until. In terms of classification, it is an opioid that is designed to relieve pain by inhibiting the pain receptors in the body’s nervous system.
While heroin is illegal, it is still a highly sought-after pain reliever that is sometimes still rarely used in medical procedures. Beyond the typical addictive properties of most prescribed opioids, Heroin is known to be incredibly strong and to produce other side effects that most opioids do not.
Heroin was used for many years in the United States until 1924 when it was banned for its addictive qualities. Since then, various forms of heroin have been created and it is now only found as a street drug.
What Does Heroin Look Like?
In its purest form, heroin is a white powder, somewhat resembling sugar. Most often though, the purity is much lower and heroin powder is mixed with various substances.
In some cases, the heroin is “cut” or diluted with similar colored substances like sugar or powdered milk. In more extreme cases it can be cut with other drugs and harmful substances which changes the color to a brown or black color creating a substance known as “black tar heroin.
The purest forms of heroin are usually snorted through the nose or smoked. Other forms are typically heated into a liquid and injected. Because of the dilution of heroin with other substances, there is often no way to tell the amount a person is using, which leads to frequent overdoses, one of the main dangers of the drug.
The Signs That Someone Is On Heroin
Like most addictive substances, there are signs when a person is actively using the substance. To help you determine if someone you know is using heroin, we will describe some signs and symptoms of both when they have used the drug, and when the drug has worn off.
Signs Someone Has Just Used Heroin
In general, they feel feelings of comfort and happiness followed by a sense of euphoria. They often claim to be in a dream-like state. Some users claim to feel like time has slowed down or that reality is in slow motion.
In people who have just used the drug, the pupils shrink and they may feel sleepy initially. Those that inject the drug may have markets in their arms and other areas.
Signs of Heroin Use When It Has Worn off
The symptoms of heroin use once it has worn off are very similar to those of people going through withdrawal after detoxification treatment.
Fatigue, insomnia, sweating, pain, itching, and vomiting are all common symptoms after heroin has worn off.
Typical behaviors can include paranoia, changes in mood, and changes in social circles, as well as a constant need for the substance. Like other opioids, heroin is addictive because it acts on the body’s nervous system, creating a chemical dependence over time that can result in cravings.
How to Get a Loved One Help With a Heroin Addiction
If you have a loved one that you believe is addicted to heroin, it is important to get them to seek treatment at a licensed treatment facility like Hillside Mission Recovery. We believe in helping clients get on the path to sobriety and providing the treatment and tools they need to live a clean and sober life once treatment ends.
We’ll help clients and family members through the process by providing only the best in inpatient treatment and support. For clients addicted to heroin, we can help them to get sober and to help loved ones identify detox symptoms so that they know if their loved one is suffering from heroin withdrawal. It is always best to seek help from medical professionals in a safe and secure environment when trying to overcome drug addiction.
Hillside Mission Recovery is dedicated to clients well being in a comfortable and stress-free environment surrounded by caring professionals. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, contact Hillside Mission Recovery today and let us help you get and stay sober.