Josh Chandler | March 29, 2021

Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Use

How to Tell When a Loved One Is Using Heroin

Heroin addiction can be life-altering for both the person struggling with the disease and the friends and family members around them. There is a sense of worry and dread as the addiction begins to grow and eventually spiral out of control. If you are concerned about a developing heroin addiction in you or someone else, it’s vital to learn more about the signs and symptoms to understand what options are available for help.

About Heroin Abuse and Addiction

The statistics associated with heroin addiction are startling. Nearly one million Americans reported using heroin in 2016. During the same time, the number of people using heroin for the first time nearly doubled from 90,000 to 170,000. Heroin is highly addictive, so it comes as no surprise that trying to drug even once can turn into a full-fledged addiction.

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Heroin Abuse Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms that could indicate that a person is in the cycle of addiction to heroin are seemingly endless. Some of the top signs and symptoms include:

  • Weight loss
  • Avoiding friends or loved ones
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Increased irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Constricted pupils

Remember, if you think that your loved one may have developed an addiction, a member of the Muse Treatment team is always available to speak with you to address your concerns.

What Causes Heroin Abuse and Addiction?

Several contributing factors may impact a person when it comes to developing an addiction to heroin. Common reasons why a person becomes addicted to this drug are:

  • Genetics: If you have a family member that has their own addiction to heroin, you are more at risk of developing a habit of your own.
  • Environmental: Similar to the genetic component of addiction, when you are around a family member or a group of people that encourage heroin use, the odds of becoming addicted to the drug only go up.
  • Brain chemistry: From the moment you first the substance, your brain chemistry begins to change. Your brain picks up on the fact that heroin gives your brain and body a false sense of relaxation and pleasure. As a result, both your brain and body will begin to crave more.
  • Psychological: Unfortunately, many people suffer from both mental illness and addiction. When your mental illness goes unchecked, there is the potential that your addiction may only become worse.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

It’s critical not to overlook the critical role that a detox program can have on your treatment plan. Withdrawal symptoms can start to manifest in a few hours from the last time you consumed heroin. Although it’s impossible to predict the type of symptoms you will experience during detox, here are just a few examples of symptoms that others have gone through:

  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Extreme cravings
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Cold sweats
  • Diarrhea

Clients will usually feel the height of these symptoms within the first 72 hours of detox. However, this could vary depending on the severity of your addiction. Due to your withdrawal symptoms’ unpredictability and possible severity, it’s never advisable that you try to go through the process alone since you will likely need help to take care of yourself during this difficult time.

Treatment for Heroin Addiction at Muse

When you are ready to overcome your addiction to any drug, the Muse Treatment team is here to assist with multiple treatment options, including inpatient, outpatient, detox, and aftercare programs available to all our clients.

Whether you are struggling with the disease or a loved one has issues, learning more about the condition and what you can do to help can aid the recovery journey. The Muse Treatment team is available to help you at (800) 426-1818.

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Josh Chandler
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