Heroin continues to be the drug of choice for many – in fact, nearly 20% of all opioid-related deaths in the United States involve the use of heroin. If someone close to you may be abusing drugs, it may be essential to recognize the signs of heroin use to ensure someone gets the help they need as soon as possible.
According to the CDC, more than 13,000 people died from heroin-related overdoses in the US in 2020 alone – with nearly 143,000 people dying from heroin overdose since 1999. Those numbers can easily be much worse, with nearly 750,000 Americans using heroin yearly.
While heroin use can easily impact an individual’s ability to live a peaceful life, it’s important to note that treatment is available for those that need it most. If you start to display signs of a heroin addict, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is a highly-addictive opiate derived from morphine, which is extracted from a variety of opium poppy plants found throughout Southeast Asia, Colombia, and Mexico. It’s typically sold as a white or brown powder or a black, sticky substance known as black tar heroin.
Users can snort, smoke, or inject heroin. While younger users often start with snorting or smoking the drug, it’s extremely common for them to graduate to injecting heroin as they grow more addicted. Users receive a more intense rush by injecting the drug into the bloodstream.
It’s estimated that over three million Americans have tried heroin at least once in their life – though that number is likely much more significant. It’s also important to note that people of all ages use heroin today – including middle and high school students. It’s a drug that impacts everyone.
What Are the Signs of Heroin Use?
Most heroin users do their best to hide their addiction, especially from friends and family members that wouldn’t approve. That’s why it’s so important for friends and family members to understand and keep an eye out for any heroin addict symptoms or heroin use signs.
To ensure we’re all prepared for this, let’s take a look at some of the most common signs of heroin use:
- Warm flushing of the skin and runny nose
- Scabs, bruises, track marks on arms/legs
- Slurred speech or dry mouth
- Changes in eating or sleeping behaviors
- Frequently lying about what they’re doing or where they’re going
- Unexpected or sudden financial troubles
- Poor performance at school, work, or responsibilities at home
- Difficulty maintaining relationships
- Brain fog, reduced ability to focus, disorientation, and fatigue
- Mood swings, depression, stress, or anxiety
If you notice any of these heroin addict symptoms or signs, don’t hesitate to reach out for help immediately. We understand this is a difficult time for you and your family, but thousands of people are ready to give your loved one the help they so desperately need.
What are the Health Effects of Heroin Abuse?
Although heroin addiction is highly treatable, especially under the right care and environment, a majority of heroin users either avoid, refuse, or never seek treatment. For those people, they’re putting their physical, mental, emotional, social, behavioral, and spiritual health at risk.
To ensure we understand the effects of heroin abuse, let’s take a look at some of the most damaging health effects associated with heroin abuse:
- Kidney failure, liver disease, and heart problems
- Collapsed veins or abscess at the injection site
- Infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS), if sharing needles with others
- Reduced cognitive health and function
- Social isolation, strained relationships, loneliness
- Violent outbursts and an increase in risky behaviors
- Suicide, depression, and other mental disorders
- Overdose or death
Not only does heroin use impact the health of the individual, but also their closest loved ones – including their friends and family members. With a bit of guidance and direction from a group of professionals and experts in the field, you and your loved one can get a second chance at life.
How to Find a Heroin Addiction Treatment Program?
Have you or a loved one started to display signs of a heroin addict? Are the heroin use signs getting in the way of living a normal, happy, healthy, and peaceful life? Do you think you’re ready to embark on an uplifting addiction recovery program? If so, then you’ve come to the right place.
At SEE Purpose Treatment, we provide Indiana inpatient substance abuse treatment to those with drug addiction, substance abuse, or mental health issues. Our human-based approach allows us to connect with each patient, ensuring they have the resources to succeed in recovery.
Contact SEE Purpose today to learn more about our inpatient and detox center in Indianapolis.