Heroin is a narcotic drug, which means that it keeps the brain from feeling pain and makes the user feel happy and relaxed. Though these signs of heroin addiction are not unique to this drug, they are very common among people who have just used heroin.
Some of these signs include:
- Small pupils
- Rapid breathing
- Being extremely alert and then falling asleep
- Looking fatigued or drowsy
- Chapped lips and dry mouth
People who have a heroin addiction also tend to possess the items used to abuse heroin.
These items cam include:
- Syringes and needles
- Spoons with burn marks on the bottom
- Aluminum gum wrappers and foil that have burn marks
- Loose shoelaces that are used to tie off the site of injection
- Burned straws
- Small bags of white powder
Those who regularly abuse heroin develop an addiction that alters their behavior, resulting in the following actions:
- Frequently lying and being deceptive
- Sleeping regularly
- Worsened performance at school or work
- Hiding needle marks under long sleeves or pants
- Avoiding friends and family
- No longer taking care of physical appearance and hygiene
- Spending, borrowing, or stealing large sums of money
- Loss of ambition or motivation
- No longer caring about old interests and hobbies
There are also some physical signs of heroin addiction:
- Unexplained loss of weight
- Circular, reddened patches from needle marks
- A constant runny nose
- Scabs caused by picking at skin
- Loss of menstruation among females
- Infections surrounding the site of injection
What Happens When a Person is Going Through Heroin Withdrawal?
With heroin addiction, the body becomes dependent on the drug, and people experience severe physical symptoms just a few hours after they stop using it. Withdrawal symptoms can be so bad that they cause medical problems, so help from an experienced medical professional is needed.
The signs of heroin withdrawal include:
- Extremely heavy sweating
- A strong desire for heroin
- Feeling nauseous and vomiting
- Aching muscles and bones
- Cramping limbs
- Inability to sleep
- Chills or fever
- Runny nose
- Diarrhea or other bowel issues
- Feeling like body is heavy
How Does Heroin Addiction Affect Health?
A short period of heroin use tends to cause these side effects:
- Shallow breathing
- Decreased cognition
- Lack of pain
- Uncontrollable urge to itch and scratch
Over time, heroin addicts face many potentially life-threatening medical side effects, such as:
- Blood clots and tissue death from collapsed veins
- Bacteria infections from injections
- Lack of liver functioning
- Pneumonia, arthritis, and other lung problems
- Heart disease
- Infectious diseases caught by sharing needles
Because heroin abuse, dependence, and withdrawal cause so many dangerous health conditions, it is absolutely necessary to be treated by a licensed medical doctor who is experienced in treating patients with heroin dependence.
Why Do People Become Addicted to and Dependent on Heroin?
Heroin is so addictive because it makes changes to the molecules and neurochemicals of the brain. It is considered to be the most addictive opiate because of its unique chemical properties. Though some other types of opiates, which are all narcotics made from poppy plants, are used for pain use, heroin is classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic drug that has no medical use.
All heroin is extremely addictive, but different types of heroin have different levels of strength. Because the strength of heroin can vary so wildly, each individual user tends to have different types of symptoms of abuse and dependence. Regardless of the strength of heroin used, most addicts feel a rush of pleasure, which varies on the method of use. Addicts who inject heroin feel a great, intense rush almost immediately. People who either snort or smoke heroin feel the effects after about 10 minutes because it takes a little longer for the heroin to pass through the blood-brain barrier. Once it is in the brain, heroin stimulates the pleasure receptors, resulting in an intense feeling of happiness and well being that becomes addictive.
Because heroin addiction is so strong, it is necessary to seek health from an addiction treatment center who is experienced in helping people recover from heroin dependence. Contact us today to learn more about our heroin abuse treatment.