In 2016, an estimated 170,000 people tried heroin for the first time, which is nearly double the number of first-time heroin users in 2006. Heroin is a dangerous illicit substance that carries a high risk of dependence and addiction. Knowing common signs of heroin use can help you determine whether your son or daughter or family member is using this illicit opioid and needs professional drug detox treatment to safely overcome heroin dependence.
Here are 7 signs that someone in your life may be using heroin and could benefit with help from Baystate Recovery Services.
1. Extreme Drowsiness
Heroin and other opioids slow down the central nervous system to reduce pain, slow down heart rate, and cause drowsiness. If your son or daughter seems unusually tired or drowsy all the time without good reason, it’s possible they may be using heroin.
2. Slowed Breathing
The effects of heroin on the central nervous system include slowed breathing and respiration. Many heroin overdoses occur when people use high amounts of this drug and suffer slowed or even stopped breathing as a result. Keep an eye on your child’s breathing rate as much as possible to determine whether they may be using heroin.
3. Heroin Paraphernalia
Heroin can be injected, snorted, and smoked, meaning your son or daughter may have certain drug paraphernalia in their room or car if they’re using heroin. Common types of heroin paraphernalia to look out for include burnt spoons, tiny baggies, glass pipes, syringes, rubber tubing, and the presence of dark, sticky residue or tan or white powdery residue.
4. Slurred Speech
Heroin slows down body function causing impaired speech and slurring. If your son or daughter is slurring their speech but hasn’t been drinking alcohol, they may be using heroin.
5. Mood Swings
Heroin increases the brain’s production of dopamine to cause extreme euphoria and pleasure. However, those who use heroin regularly and who suddenly stop using the drug will experience mood swings and irritability since the brain is no longer receiving heroin to generate these intense feelings. Pay close attention to whether your child is experiencing sudden, unexpected mood swings to determine whether they may be using heroin.
6. Increased Sleeping
People who use heroin tend to sleep for longer periods of time due to the way this drug causes drowsiness, slowed heart rate, and slowed breathing. If your child seems to be sleeping for longer periods of time on a frequent basis even when they’re not staying active with work, school, or exercise, it’s highly possible they could be using heroin and could benefit from going to drug rehab.
7. Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
Those who become dependent on heroin will experience a set of withdrawal symptoms when stopping this drug abruptly. Heroin withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable and are often compared to flu symptoms.
Common heroin withdrawal symptoms include:
•Sweating and goosebumps.
•Yawning and insomnia.
•A runny nose and tearing eyes.
•Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
•Abdominal cramping and muscle aches.
•Agitation and anxiety.
If your son or daughter is experiencing any of the above symptoms, they may be using heroin and become physically dependent on the drug.
Contact us today to learn more about how addiction treatment can help your son or daughter safely and successfully achieve abstinence and overcome heroin addiction.