The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that
heroin use more than doubled in individuals between the ages of 18-25 in the
last 10 years. The government called the problem a
Statistics show that more than 8,200 people died from an overdose in 2013.
Despite the growing concern over heroin use, the problem can seem far away
until someone you know suffers from addiction. It may not be obvious,
but if you suspect a loved one suffers heroin dependency, you can look
for certain signs.
Many times, signs of heroin addiction can be right in front of you. You
can look for certain physical alterations to determine whether a person is using.
Drowsiness – Heroin causes users to feel an immediate sense of euphoria or clouded thinking,
followed by prolonged sense of sleepiness and disorientation. Many users
display moments of hyper-alertness that precede suddenly nodding off.
Swollen tissues – One of the common ways users administer heroin is through injection. The
constant lacerations and holes in the skin can lead to swollen tissues
and pus pockets under the skin.
Weight loss and gauntness – Heroin takes a severe toll on the body. Addicts constantly focus on obtaining
the next high, forgoing nutrition and health. Weight loss, dark under
eyes, and an unkempt appearance can all reflect drug use.
Track marks – Because the most common form of heroin intake is through a needle, marks
will appear around the body after constant use. Look for needle marks,
scarring, scabbing, and bruises from needle insertion.
Heroin affects brain function, which can also alter emotions and behavior.
If your loved one seems different or is acting unusually, it might be
an indication of heroin addiction.
Common behavioral changes include:
- Unpredictable mood swings
- Sudden lying or stealing
Heroin addicts gravitate towards commonly used paraphernalia to achieve
their high. If you are worried your loved one is addicted, you can look
around for certain objects.
Syringes – Users often inject heroin into their veins. Thus, if the person has hypodermic
needles without having a related medical condition, this should be a red flag.
Aluminum foil – Another method of ingesting heroin is by smoking the drug between two pieces
of aluminum foil. If you find burned pieces of foil, it might indicate
a serious problem.
Glass or metal pipes – Heroin users can consume the drug using a pipe with a bulbous end. If they
don’t have the actual pipe, they may make their own device using
household items. Look out for such contraption.
Balloons and baggies – Check for small bags or balloons that have been tied off. This is one of
the common ways in which heroin is concealed.
Heroin addiction can be deadly and change the lives of both the addict
and their family. If your loved one struggles with heroin dependency,
contact our New Jersey drug detox center. We can help you and your family
get their lives back.