Skip to main content

Signs and symptoms of heroin use

08/21/2013 08:20AM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print, News


A heroin and cocaine user's police mugshots. Left image taken in 2003, and right image taken in 2007.


From www.narconon.org

 

If you're concerned about a loved one who seems like he or she might be abusing heroin, the problem is that the drug user is seldom honest about the substances he or she is abusing. It may come down to being a detective and figuring out what drug your loved one is abusing by tracking down the signs of heroin use.

Remnants of heroin use that you might find

Heroin is usually smoked, snorted or injected. So depending on the method of administration, you could find remnants of the drugs or the paraphernalia of drug use left behind. Heroin itself may be a powdery or crumbly substance, ranging all the way from off-white to dark brown. Black tar heroin is nearly black and is sticky instead of powdery.

You might find syringes, or small glass or metal pipes. A person dissolving the drug and injecting it might also leave dirty spoons and lighters around. A person injecting also needs some device to cause the veins to enlarge, so there may be belts or rubber tubing in the area where he or she is using the heroin.

Fast symptoms of heroin use

Heroin is a fast-acting opiate. When it's injected, there is a surge of euphoria that arrives within seconds. Those using the drug other ways may not feel this surge as sharply.

The user will get a dry mouth and his or her skin will flush. The user's pupils will be constricted. He will feel heavy and may fade in and out of wakefulness. Heroin users may nod off suddenly. Breathing will be slowed, which is how an overdose kills.

When awake, the person's thinking will be unclear. They will tend to lose some of their memory. Their decision-making and self-control are likely to deteriorate.

Some of the signs of heroin use are itching, nausea and vomiting. Another sign is the constipation often suffered by opiate abusers. The regular user of this drug may look for laxatives. They may experience skin or other kinds of infections and a lowered immunity to illness.

The user's pain will be suppressed, which is not surprising because opiates are used for pain relief. On the tragic side, however, is the fact that the signs of heroin use can include spontaneous abortion.

Addiction to heroin is a trap

One of the many sad things about heroin is that the addict is seldom aware of the damage being done to his or her life. They will often begin to neglect their own needs, the acquisition of the day's dose of heroin being far more important. They may not eat properly and may look haggard if heroin abuse is prolonged or heavy.

Some heroin addicts may ask for help, but the majority fear the pain and sickness of withdrawal. It is very often up to the family members to rescue the heroin-addicted person and get him or her into treatment. It may only be by knowing the signs of heroin use that you can detect the addiction and begin to make arrangements for rehabilitation.

An addict may try to conceal the symptoms of heroin use by wearing long-sleeved clothing to cover needle marks. 



heroin heroin help treatment


You might also like

Two arrested for heroin distribution

Chester County District Attorney's Office said this is the first time that fentanyl-laced heroin has been found in the county during an investigation.

Police Blotter

Police Blotter: $600 stolen from an apartment in Kennett Square and more for the week of June 4, 2014.
Thumb_campbell-collin

Kennett police arrest two for heroin possession

Collin Campbell and Eldon Ross were found with 220 individual packets of heroin, illegal prescription medication, the drug Ecstasy, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.

  • Annual Fall Family Fun Day and Craft Fair

    09/20/2014
    09:00am — 04:00pm

    Nottingham Presbyterian Church hosts a family fun day and craft fair annually on the third Saturd...


  • Nottingham Presbyterian Church

    09/20/2014
    09:00am — 04:00pm

    A fun day for the entire family. Come out and enjoy great food, unique crafts, free entertainmen...


  • Zoo Yoga: OM’ing Otters

    09/20/2014
    09:15am — 10:15am

    (Ages 4-7 years old) Weekly Saturdays or Sundays, September-November (Classes held in the Educati...


  • International Red Panda Day

    09/20/2014
    10:00am — 01:00pm

    Become a Red Panda Ranger! A Red Panda Ranger is a special title given to a child who has learned...


  • Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday at Milburn Orchards this weekend! Share a piece of his birt...


  • Saturday Zoo Tales

    09/20/2014
    10:30am — 11:00am

    Join us for a fun, animal or nature themed story and a visit from one of our fun program animals!...


  • Open Hive Day

    09/20/2014
    10:30am — 12:00pm

    Join TLC apiarist, Dan Borkoski, for an inside look at the busy buzzy world of honeybees. Partici...


  • Harvest Day Cookout

    09/20/2014
    11:30am — 06:30pm

    The fall is approaching and this means one thing - The 45th Annual Yardley Harvest Day is right a...


  • Goo Fest

    09/20/2014
    02:00pm — 05:00pm

    As part of North Star Orchard's Adventure in Flavor tasting series, you are invited to Goo Fest! ...


  • Brews for Books

    09/20/2014
    06:00pm — 09:00pm

    Sample fine craft beers with friends and support public libraries at Brews for Books, a craft bee...


  • Kennett Flash schedule

    09/20/2014
    08:00pm

    The following acts are scheduled to perform at the Kennett Flash (101 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Squ...


  • Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday at Milburn Orchards this weekend! Share a piece of his birt...


  • Taste Kennett Food Tours

    09/21/2014
    01:00pm — 04:00pm

    Taste Kennett Food Tours, creators of memorable, unique and fun food experiences, offer three-hou...


  • Writing Baseball

    09/21/2014
    02:00pm

    What happens when baseball leaves the field and swirls around in the imaginations of great writer...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Annual Fall Family Fun Day and Craft Fair

    09/20/2014
    09:00am — 04:00pm

    Nottingham Presbyterian Church hosts a family fun day and craft fair annually on the third Saturd...


  • Nottingham Presbyterian Church

    09/20/2014
    09:00am — 04:00pm

    A fun day for the entire family. Come out and enjoy great food, unique crafts, free entertainmen...


  • Zoo Yoga: OM’ing Otters

    09/20/2014
    09:15am — 10:15am

    (Ages 4-7 years old) Weekly Saturdays or Sundays, September-November (Classes held in the Educati...


  • International Red Panda Day

    09/20/2014
    10:00am — 01:00pm

    Become a Red Panda Ranger! A Red Panda Ranger is a special title given to a child who has learned...


  • Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday at Milburn Orchards this weekend! Share a piece of his birt...


  • Saturday Zoo Tales

    09/20/2014
    10:30am — 11:00am

    Join us for a fun, animal or nature themed story and a visit from one of our fun program animals!...


  • Open Hive Day

    09/20/2014
    10:30am — 12:00pm

    Join TLC apiarist, Dan Borkoski, for an inside look at the busy buzzy world of honeybees. Partici...


  • Harvest Day Cookout

    09/20/2014
    11:30am — 06:30pm

    The fall is approaching and this means one thing - The 45th Annual Yardley Harvest Day is right a...


Chester County High School Sports