Signs of Heroin Use
Share on Share on Share on

Signs of Heroin Use

Signs of Heroin UseIf you suspect a loved one of abusing heroin be aware and be ready to act on the tell-tale signs of heroin use. These may include the physical and emotional changes noticed in a friend, or the sudden disappearance of household items and cash traced to a son or daughter stealing to support a habit. Very few heroin addicts reach out for help on their own.   They are usually in too deep of a state of denial, or are so far into the cycle of heroin addiction that making smart decisions is simply not an option. That means the burden of helping a heroin addict will often fall on family, friends and other loved ones.   But how can these caring individuals know if their loved one even has a problem with heroin use?   Understanding the signs of heroin use outlined below is a good place to start.

What are the most common signs of heroin use?

Although every individual is different, the following represent some of the most common signs of heroin use:

  • A “lost” look in the eyes
  • Apathetic or lethargic behavior
  • Bouts with depression
  • Chills and fever
  • Constricted pupils
  • Deceptive behavior to friends and family members
  • Displays of hostility toward others
  • Engaging in criminal or reckless behavior to support addiction
  • Euphoria
  • Losing interest in friends or favorites hobbies/activities
  • Lying about one’s whereabouts
  • Needle marks on arms - and even on leg
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Runny nose, sneezing or constant sniffing
  • Shallow breathing
  • Speech is sometimes slurred
  • Stealing money to support heroin habit
  • Strong drug cravings
  • Very little motivation, and no desire to form future plans

With 560,000 people using heroin in the last year (according to information from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health), there is a chance that you know someone who is using it. Heroin is a dangerous drug that can cause long-term health problems, and even be a cause of death. You should be aware of the signs of heroin use, and encourage someone who is using heroin to get help.

There are many other signs of heroin use; one of the most common signs includes dramatic changes in one's life. Here are some of the areas in which someone may make drastic changes due to a heroin use:

  • Performance. This can either be at school or work - or in some other way. Are the person's grades suddenly dropping? Is the quality of work assignments becoming progressively worse? Does the person's performance in sports or music suffer? When someone suddenly becomes worse at something he or she is good at, this can be one of the signs of heroin use. Additionally, someone using heroin may stop showing up on time - or at all.
  • Personal care. This is a sign common to many substance abuse problems. When a person is abusing heroin, he or she may not take good care of him or herself. You may notice that personal hygiene, such as regular showers and changing one's clothing regularly, is no longer important. Someone who is involved in heroin abuse may no longer care about fixing his or her hair, or performing other grooming tasks.
  • Tendency toward recklessness. Someone using heroin often does not care about the natural consequences of his or her actions. He or she may do reckless things, such as steal to get money for more drugs - or even engage in other dangerous behaviors. Natural consequences of their choices are no longer important to heroin users.
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and activities. Another sign of heroin substance abuse is withdrawal from normal activities. New, more dangerous friends can indicate a heroin addiction. Additionally, someone involved in heroin abuse may also become more secretive, desiring to be left alone by family members. Heroin addicts also may begin withdrawing from enjoyed activities, such as going out with friends or participating in clubs and organizations.

It is important to note that some of the signs of heroin use are also connected with depression and even normal adolescent behavior. It can be difficult to draw the line. If you see several of the above signs, or if you are worried, you should carefully and lovingly ask questions to try and find out what the problem is. Even if it isn't heroin use, it may be some other important issue that needs to be addressed.

Signs of Heroin Use
First Name:
Last Name:
Describe the situation:

Heroin Facts