How Do You Know If Someone Is Using Heroin?

By Addiction Helpline America
April 07, 2021

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Heroin is one of the scarier drugs out there. From the havoc it can wreak on someone’s body and mind, to the awful impacts it can have on the relationship that someone holds most dear.

Of course, it’s highly addictive nature and the risk that overdose can lead to death are also incredibly scary. For that reason, it can be a terrible possibility to face when you are worried that someone you love may be addicted to the terrible drug.

However, if you think there is a chance that they are addicted to heroin, you need to be sure that you recognize many of the most common warning signs so that you can know if someone in your life is using it.

Knowing the warning signs is a great way to make sure that you can offer them whatever you can to encourage them to get the help they need and kick the awful addiction. For that reason, we have broken down the top signs to keep in mind so that you can know if know if someone is using heroin.

How Do You Know If Someone Is Using Heroin?

Noticeable changes to behavior and appearance

While this sign may be a bit more nuanced, it is also the one that will likely be the most readily available as it is one that heroin users have a harder time hiding. These are major signs because people who are regularly using heroin tend to stop caring about their physical health and hygiene.

Oftentimes, people who are abusing heroin will lose a fair amount of weight and will also sleep for excessive amounts of time.

Another thing to look out for is erratic mood changes, as people who are using the drug often display aggressiveness and depression when they are not actively high. Finally, due to the fact that people who are using heroin often obsess over the drug, you will often see addicts lose interest in even their biggest passions. They may also start to neglect their work responsibilities, their family and more.

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They nod off regularly

Heroin is known to dramatically suppress the human central nervous system. Beyond that, it slows down crucial bodily functions such as blood pressure, temperature and heart rate. For that reason, when a person is actively high, they often become incredibly drowsy for hours during the high and after the high wears off.

If you are worried that someone you know is using heroin, seeing them regularly dose off into sleep no matter what they are doing, you should take that as a serious sign to confirm your concerns.

Track marks on the skin

This might be a harder sign to find, but if you do find it, you can be sure that the person in your life who you suspect is using heroin absolutely needs help. While snorting and smoking heroin are methods of use, by far the most popular form of heroin use is through injecting the drug directly into the bloodstream. This habit causes damage to people’s bodies and leaves what are known as track marks.

The signs to look out for includes bruises, scars, scabs and needles marks in the arms, hands legs and feet.

The track marks, as they are called, can be identified as a black and sooty material that remains near the site. This occurs because the needles themselves are sometimes heated prior to injection. The injection sites are also a risk for inflammation and infection.

Finding heroin paraphernalia

Another sign that someone may be using heroin are the tools that people tend to use to inject and otherwise consume heroin. Things to look out for include foil squares, small plastic baggies, needles, burned spoons, belts and rubber tubes.

Other things to look out for includes lighters, cotton balls, burnt aluminum, straws and rolled dollar bills with residue on them. The best places to look for these include bedrooms, bathrooms, their cars or other personal spaces.

Withdrawal symptoms to look out for

Finally, a good way to find out whether someone you know is using heroin is to look out for any withdrawal symptoms that they may display if they have not gotten high relatively recently. The top ones to look out for includes cold flashes, muscle pain, intense cravings, diarrhea and vomiting.

Trouble sleeping and involuntary leg movements are also common side effects. Keep in mind that these symptoms are going to be worse in the one to two days after someone stops using heroin. In fact, many people who want to quit will often return to drug use simply for the relief from the withdrawal symptoms. For that reason, if you are seeing your family member or friend display these symptoms, it could be the perfect time for you to step in and encourage them to get the professional help that they need to detox and get healthy so that they can get their life back on track.

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