Would you recognize the signs of heroin use or addiction in someone you care about? Heroin use signs can be hard to pinpoint without knowing what to look for due to the inherent secrecy of the use of the drug. Many heroin users work hard to keep heroin use signs hidden. Furthermore, their relationships are often adversely affected because of lies they tell in order to continue using heroin. Learning to recognize the signs of heroin use so you can offer your care, concern, and friendship can make a world of difference in their recovery from heroin use.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is an opioid drug that is highly addictive. It is made of morphine, which comes from the seed pod of the opium poppy plant. This plant is grown in Mexico, Southeast, Southwest Asia, and Columbia. Heroin may appear white or brown-like and can come in the form of a powder. However, some heroin may be seen in a black sticky substance, which is commonly referred to ask black tar heroin.
Heroin use is risky because it quickly enters the brain, affecting the opioid receptors on cells involved with many areas of the body, including those that help regulate feelings of pain and pleasure and control vital processes such as breathing, heart rate, and sleeping.
Heroin can cause a feeling of euphoria or pleasure at first. However, long-term heroin use can cause a number of issues, including:
- Liver and kidney disease
- Constipation and stomach problems
- Infection of the heart and valves
- Collapsed veins for those who inject heroin
- Damaged tissue in the nasal cavity for those who snort or sniff the drug
- Mental disorders, such as depression
- Irregular menstrual cycles for women
- Sexual dysfunction for men
- Lung complications
- Overdose, which can potentially be fatal
What are the Signs of Heroin Use?
If you are concerned that someone you know is using heroin, there are some signs of heroin use you can watch for. First, needle marks (or “track” marks) are a telltale sign that someone is using heroin; however, it is not common for new users to begin taking the drug by way of injection.
Other signs of heroin abuse include:
- Sudden weight loss
- Small/constricted pupils
- Bloodshot eyes
- Changes in appearance, often taking less care of one’s physical appearance
- Lack of motivation
- Extreme drowsiness
- Secretive behavior
- Financial difficulties
- Severe itchiness
- Shortness of breath
Some people who use heroin may begin withdrawing from social, recreational, or occupational activities that were once important due to heroin use. They may also have an inability to cut down or control their heroin use, making it difficult for them to stop on their own. Because of this and the dangers involved with heroin use, a heroin addiction program is important for those struggling with heroin use.
What is a Heroin Addiction Program Like?
One of the first steps when entering into a heroin addiction program is to undergo a full consultation to determine the client’s specific needs. A complete medical detox is necessary for many heroin users. Full medical detoxification enables clinical staff to care for all of the client’s medical needs, from nutrition to disease treatment and through the difficult, painful phase of withdrawal.
Additionally, substance abuse treatment programs, including counseling and psychotherapy, are offered. Patients can work one-on-one with therapists and in group therapy to work through the damage caused by addiction. Underlying issues, including any mental health disorders that may be present, will be addressed as well as working through any past trauma. These treatment programs equip patients with the necessary tools to make better decisions for their health and future well-being.
How to Find Heroin Addiction Treatment in Atlanta, GA
If you are concerned that someone you love is exhibiting heroin addiction symptoms, an early task is to find a heroin addiction treatment facility. In order to find one that best suits your needs, learn as much as you can before entering the program. Atlanta Recovery Place is a rehab in Georgia that offers outpatient and dual diagnosis treatment.
At Atlanta Recovery Place, we offer a wide range of resources available to help clients with addiction recovery, with comprehensive treatment programs and services that are tailored to meet the unique and specific needs of each client who walks through our doors. We are committed to helping you or your loved one take back control of your life. Please reach out today to learn more about our heroin addiction treatment program in Atlanta, GA.