It is very normal for a heroin addict to exhaust all means possible to hide their addiction especially from the people they love. But believe it or not, the people closest to them, those that live with them every day, are usually the last to know. As someone who put their family through this, I can tell you this from firsthand experience.
You may have suspicions but most of the time your natural instinct is to shrug off those feelings and thinks that your loved one is better than that.
As more and more people are realizing, heroin addiction has taken on a new face. It is no longer limited to the stereotype that we held of addicts. They live among us, and we may not be aware of it. It could be your neighbor, your coworker, your spouse, and even your own child. What signs should you look out for in case you suspect a loved one is addicted to heroin so that you can offer help as soon as possible?
Look for Drug Paraphernalia
Although it is unlikely that they would leave it out in the open, finding drug paraphernalia in your loved ones possession will confirm your suspicions that they have a heroin addiction. For heroin addicts, try to look for syringes as this the most popular method of administering this type of drug. Syringes would usually be accompanied by a spoon, a filter of some sort, and a rope or belt that is used to tie the arm to make the veins more visible.
Aside from injecting it directly into the blood stream, many heroin addicts smoke it in by using aluminum foil. Look for this together with anything that can act like a straw such as rolled paper bills. You can also look for glass or metal pipes with bulbous ends and plastic bags or balloons that could conceal heroin.
Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Addiction
Knowing the different physical indicators of drug abuse will help you pinpoint signs and symptoms that your loved one may be addicted to heroin. A person who is addicted to heroin will have constricted pupils while they are high on the drug. They will show depressed respiration and will appear disoriented. They will start to neglect hygiene and will pay less and less attention to the way the look.
Heroin addicts would usually have needle marks, bruises, or scars from where needle insertions were made. These will most likely appear on their arms and hands, but you can also check between the toes, the ankles, or the neck area.
Upon taking heroin, one will feel the rush of euphoria for a few minutes and this will be followed by a long state of drowsiness. So look out for episodes of sudden peaks and drops in energy level. Also watch out for changes in behavior such as depression, withdrawal or isolation, and mood swings.
Financial and Legal Issues
Heroin addicts will exhaust all of their resources in order to sustain their addiction and get the next fix. So if your loved one suddenly asks of borrows money often then you can suspect that there is a problem. If you notice valuables suddenly go missing then heroin addiction is a likely suspect. If your loved one starts acting shady or often gets involved in legal problems such as stealing or fraud then maybe it’s about time you sit down and talk to them about what the problem really is.