Heroin Drug Abuse Symptoms and Signs

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Do You or Someone You Know Use Heroin?

Heroin has been around for a while and is often the drug of choice for drug abusers who need a sudden “pick-me-up.” The sudden rush a user gets causes an intense sense of euphoria. This drug is used in highly-charged environments such as nightclubs and parties.

The first thing to look for if you suspect someone using heroin is “heroin eyes,” which are pupils so small they look like black dots. “Heroin eyes” also known as “Heroin Chic” was part of a fashion trend of the elite younger crowds during the 1990s

What is Heroin?

Heroin is a highly addictive illegal drug that is made from morphine. Morphine is extracted from the seeds of poppy plants that are native to South American, Asia, and Mexico.

Heroin is either a white or brown powder or a sticky black substance (known as black tar.) Users smoke, snort, or inject heroin. Regardless of what route of use is taken, the brain is quick to react to its presence. It is this immediate reaction that causes the sudden high.

Users are often unaware of what other ingredients or drugs are “cut” into the heroin they use. The heroin you or I use today, may not be the same tomorrow. Different drug dealers get their heroin from various sources.

Those sources may add something to enhance the high. When this happens, you set yourself up for a potential overdose or death. The hidden danger of addiction to heroin gets you hooked after using just one time.

Although your body does not become dependent after using heroin one time, you can develop a psychological craving for the high you experienced with that one use. Once you jump onto that ride, it is tough to get off! Knowing how to tell if someone is using heroin is not hard.

The Abuse of Heroin

“Those heroin eyes cannot hide the lie.” Those who use heroin grow tolerant leading to using more to obtain that high. Increased usage of heroin puts you at serious risk of not only addiction and overdose, but also long-term health problems, including diseases.

What are the signs someone is on heroin? Well, they may appear to move in slow motion as if half asleep, half awake. Their pupils will be constricted so small that the pupil looks like a little black dot. Tracks marks on their arms are also an indicator of heroin use. As the heroin starts to wear off, they may be jittery, nauseous, hurting all over, and scratching at their skin.

What does some struggling with heroin addiction look like? The distinguishable “heroin eyes” or look is easy to spot because of a lifeless stare. Dark circles appear under the eyes, the face appears waxy and sunken in, and the overall appearance of the user looks grungy.

Heroin addiction is not limited to those who lurk in dark places. People from all walks of life abuse heroin. Housewives, executives, celebrities, politicians, and even the “boy/girl next door” can become addicted. There is a population of people that are at higher risk of heroin addiction.

  • People who have an addiction to cocaine, opioid painkillers, alcohol, and marijuana
  • White people, non-Hispanic
  • Males
  • People living in a large city
  • 18-25-year-olds

Heroin Statistics

  • Deaths related to heroin use quadrupled
  • Use doubled in 18-25-year-olds
  • 9 in 10 heroin users also use at least one other drug
  • 45% of heroin users also had a prescription opioid addiction

Side Effects and Long-Term Effects of Heroin

Addiction stands at the forefront of the side effects of heroin use. Little do we realize that the side effects of heroin put us at risk of losing so much in life, including our health, loved ones, and even our lives!

Side Effects

  • The sudden rush that gives you a sense of feeling warm
  • Flushing
  • Euphoric feeling
  • Constricted pupils “heroin eyes”
  • Drowsiness
  • The sense that makes you feel like everything is moving in slow motion
  • Extremities feel heavy
  • Slow breathing
  • Impaired thinking and function
  • Hypothermia
  • Overdose
  • Coma
  • Death
  • Addiction

Long-Term Side Effects

  • Deterioration of dental health (teeth and gums)
  • Cold sweats
  • The immune system grows weaker
  • Feeling itchy all over
  • Respiratory problems
  • Muscle atrophy and/or paralysis
  • Coma
  • Constipation
  • Self-isolating behavior
  • Depression or worsening of depression
  • Sores on face
  • Heroin eyes
  • Insomnia
  • Little to no libido
  • Absence of menses
  • No appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Overdose
  • Addiction
  • Death

Overdose symptoms:

  • Breathing: difficulty, shallow, or stopped
  • Dry mouth
  • Pinpoint-sized pupils, heroin eyes
  • Weak pulse
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nails and lips appear blue
  • Unresponsive
  • Confused or delirious
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Uncontrollable muscle movements
  • Coma

Mental Illness and Heroin

If we have a pre-existing mental disorder, the likelihood of us abusing heroin is very high. Depression, for example, causes us to feel sad, low, alone, and lack energy. Your first time using heroin will make you feel “up” because of the high. It is that high that those with depression seek out a drug. Anxiety, on the other hand, causes us to feel on edge with constant worry or fear.

To numb those feelings, we reach out for a drug that has sedating effects. Many mental disorders come with a variety of symptoms that we want to mask to feel better.

Treatment for a Heroin Addiction

“We understand the cries that rise from your heroin eyes.” We want you to know that breaking an addiction to heroin is exceptionally challenging. So many heroin users continue with their addiction because they feel hopeless and alone in trying to escape its firm grip.

You CAN fight this, and you have people right here at Resurgence that will be with you every step of the way. You are not alone. We will become your team of cheerleaders to get you started and across the finish line.

Imagine what it would be like to taste life for the first time without heroin in your system. Everything will be brighter, more beautiful, taste better, and smell better. Your zest for life will be a high that even heroin cannot deliver.

When you call us, you will hear a real live person’s voice on the other end of the phone, not a recording. You are important to us, and we are available 24/7. The minute you step foot in our center, you will be met with a warm and loving environment that is peaceful.

We want you to feel at home while residing here and getting the help you need. Treatment plans are tailored to each individual’s needs. As an inpatient resident, you will have the choice of standard accommodations that most come to love and enjoy. However, if you prefer something a bit more upscale, our executive or luxury accommodations provide you with the amenities you are accustomed to.

Comfort here at our center does not have to be compromised when getting treatment for addiction. We also offer a faith-based treatment focus that places an emphasis on not only healing the body but also the mind and spirit. Our approach to treatments is through evidence-based therapies that begin with detox. You will have the option of detoxing with or without medical assistance.

Many residents prefer using medical detox to make the process more comfortable. Regardless of how you choose to detox, you will have someone with you 24/7 to monitor your progress. Once you have completed detox, you begin partial hospitalization to get you slowly back in the swing of things.  Cognitive-behavioral therapy is part of treatment that teaches you awareness of specific thoughts, triggers, or behaviors attributed to your addiction.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is another therapeutic part of treatment where therapy, awareness, and eye movement are used to ground you. After your treatment as a resident concludes, you will go on to treatment as an outpatient. We will schedule treatment visits for you to return during those times for continued therapies.

Getting back to our busy lives is something we have taken into consideration. We understand that your treatment may need to be scheduled around work, school, or your children. We have intensive outpatient therapy for circumstances such as those. As you approach the finish line of your treatment here at Resurgence, we will be on the sidelines cheering.

We want you to be successful and happy in life, and the skills and strategies you learn while in treatment will become things to lean on to live a better life. What are you waiting for? Don’t put it off. Make that phone call. Our 24/7 phone line has someone waiting to hear your voice.

Payment and Insurance

Our staff wants every part of your experience at our center to be positive. We will contact your insurance on your behalf to verify coverage, so you do not have to. A minute used to worry about contacting insurance can be a minute invested in getting better! We do accept most PPO insurances.

If you don’t see your insurance listed below, please contact us. For those of you needing to make a payment, you can use our secure online payment service.

Payment plans are also an option if you need to spread payments out over time.

  • Assurant Health
  • Vista Insurance Partners
  • Humana
  • Ameritas Group
  • Health Net
  • Cigna
  • Horizon Blue Cross
  • Premera Blue Cross
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield

While you are here at the center, you will be treated like family. The key to getting better is having professionals there to guide and help you within an atmosphere of peace and healing. Once you get here, you may find you would rather stay and not leave because of the relaxed and embracing peace that surrounds you.

If we can make you more comfortable during your stay, please do not hesitate to let us know. No more procrastination, make that call now

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.