Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs. For some people, using it once is enough to kick off the physical and psychological addiction to this substance. Heroin may be consumed on its own or offered as a mix with other drugs. If you’re worried that you or a loved one is suffering from the signs of heroin addiction, look out for these signs to prevent heroin overdose and consider help from a heroin detox center.
1. Building Up a Heroin Tolerance
Heroin users can build up a tolerance quickly due to the addictive properties of this opioid. When this happens, they need to get progressively larger doses before they’re able to get high again. It doesn’t take much before the dose puts them at risk of a heroin overdose.
2. Developing Skin Infections
Many people consume heroin through its injectable form. The skin can get infected by the frequent injections, or from bacteria that is present on dirty needles if the user uses them. The skin infections may be mild or could result in serious abscesses.
3. Collapsing Veins
Another side effect of injectable heroin is collapsed veins. Heroin users will need to keep looking for veins on their arms or other parts of their bodies that are intact to take the injection. Over time, frequent doses cause damage to the structural integrity of the veins.
4. Chronically Dry Mouth
It’s typical for a person’s mouth to dry out from heroin. They might end up drinking more liquids than usual, or end up with dental issues due to the lack of saliva production in their mouths.
5. Inability to Stay Awake
Heroin can impact someone’s ability to stay awake, which results in the person unexpectedly falling asleep. This side effect of heroin addiction is particularly dangerous for someone operating heavy machinery or driving a vehicle. Luckily, a Massachusetts substance abuse treatment program can help with this and many of the signs of heroin addiction.
6. Difficulty with Decision Making
Heroin can cloud a person’s judgment and make it difficult to think clearly. They won’t be able to make decisions and can end up being solely focused on when they’re going to take heroin next.
7. Hiding Needle Marks
Someone struggling with heroin addiction may do their best to hide their drug use from friends, family, and coworkers. One sign to look for is someone wearing long-sleeve shirts when it’s not seasonally appropriate.
8. Respiratory Illness
Heroin comes in a form that can be smoked, called black tar heroin. People taking this version of the drug can end up with severe respiratory illnesses like pneumonia.
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms and Other Signs of Heroin Addiction
Heroin withdrawal symptoms are quick to appear, especially if someone has rapidly increased their dose size. If they’re unable to take heroin soon after their last dose, they may end up experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
- Inability to stay warm
- Body-wide pain, particularly in the bones and muscles
- Lack of control over the legs
- Digestive issues, including throwing up and watery stool
The signs of heroin addiction are difficult to overcome without the right resources. Due to the severity of the withdrawal symptoms and how easily it is to get addicted to this substance, it’s essential to work with a knowledgeable Massachusetts heroin addiction treatment center that will support you or your loved one every step of the way.