Heroin addiction is a growing problem in the US, with increasing yearly addiction rates. It can be challenging to recognize the signs of heroin addiction, as many people will go out of their way to hide their illness. If you feel a loved one is struggling with addiction, heroin addiction treatment can help them get on the road to recovery. Moreover, talking with your loved one about their heroin addiction may save their life from this treatable illness. Some people will need a drug and alcohol detox program to get them on the right path.
At Arkview Recovery Center, our heroin addiction treatment center in PA, will help residents with heroin addiction. Our treatment programs are not one-size-fits-all. We create individualized programs based on the patient’s current mental and physical health, including the severity of their addiction. If you are concerned that a loved one is struggling with heroin addiction, call 717.744.0756 today to learn more about recognizing the signs of heroin addiction.
Early Signs of Heroin Addiction
Heroin addiction can occur gradually, but some early signs may indicate a loved one is using it. Some of the most common early symptoms include:
- Loss of interest in activities—If your loved one used to enjoy participating in hobbies and activities, pay attention if they suddenly show no interest. This could be a sign that they are using heroin to cope.
- Financial problems—Heroin is expensive, and the financial toll of addiction can be significant. Pay attention if your loved one has trouble paying bills or is struggling financially.
- Unexplained absences—If a loved one spends a lot of time away, especially with no explanation, they may be using drugs.
- Isolation—If your loved one begins to withdraw from family and friends, this could be a sign that something is wrong.
It’s crucial to catch heroin use early on because it can have serious consequences.
Heroin Addiction Signs
Heroin is an opioid from the poppy plant Papaver somniferum. It binds with the opioid receptors on cells in the brain and throughout your body. It releases a massive amount of endorphins responsible for the euphoric feeling that lasts for a short period.
With continued use, even in small amounts, the body stops the natural production of these endorphins. Your body can never produce the same euphoria without more heroin. At that point, the more you use it, the more your body will crave it.
Extended use of heroin can lead to severe physical and mental side effects that include:
- Infections in the heart lining and valves
- Damaged skin tissue due to snorting
- Collapsed veins due to injection
- Constipation and stomach cramps
- Sexual dysfunction in men
- Irregular menstrual cycles for women
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain sensitivity
- Memory problems
- Depression and anxiety
- Cravings for more heroin
If you suspect that your loved one is struggling with heroin addiction, it is important to get them to help as soon as possible.
Behavioral Signs of Heroin Addiction
If you believe someone you know is addicted to heroin, look for these behavioral signs of heroin addiction:
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Mood swings, sometimes violent
- Lying about their actions and whereabouts
- Increasingly irritable and agitated
- A lack of motivation
If you also notice sudden weight loss, scabs, and bruises on their arms or legs, it is time to talk to them about their drug use and offer to help get them into a heroin rehab center.
Heroin Overdose Signs
The most dangerous symptom of heroin addiction is an overdose. An overdose can happen instantly, and knowing the signs is essential so you can act quickly.
Signs of a heroin overdose that require immediate medical attention include:
- Slow breathing or difficulty breathing
- Skin that’s either clammy or cold
- Purple or blue color to the lips, tongue, and nails
- Extreme drowsiness
Heroin overdose is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment. If you think someone may be overdosing on heroin, call 911 immediately.
Talking with Your Loved One About Heroin Addiction Rehab
Getting someone struggling with addiction to admit they have a problem and are ready to accept help is the first step in their addiction recovery.
You cannot force someone into recovery and expect good results. Addiction is a deceitful illness, even to the person with the addiction. It changes the person’s brain chemistry to the point where their only concern is feeding the addiction.
Talk with your loved one in a warm and non-confrontational setting. Tell them why you are concerned for their health and well-being. Avoid any accusatory tone or phrases such as, “This is your fault” and “Look what you’re doing to the family.”
Many patients report not being aware of what their actions are doing to others, and even if they are aware of it and the harm they are causing themselves, they are powerless to stop.
The first conversation you have with your loved one may not go as planned, but it can help open their eyes to the pain they are causing others and themselves. Be patient, gentle, and persistent. Your efforts will help.
Arkview Recovery Can Help Your Loved One if You See Signs of Heroin Addiction
Arkview Recovery is a heroin addiction treatment center in PA that can help you or a loved one with heroin addiction and other mental health illnesses. We combine behavioral therapy, family counseling, and other proven methods for breaking your habit and helping you understand the cause behind it.
For more information about understanding the signs of heroin addiction, call 717.744.0756 today to help a loved one begin their heroin addiction rehab.