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Early Signs of Heroin Addiction

  • February 2, 2022
  • 3 min read
Early Signs of Heroin Addiction

Heroin is an illegal street drug that belongs to the opiate class of narcotics. Among the medications derived from the opium poppy are opioids such as morphine and prescription opioids such as fentanyl and oxycodone. In most cases, heroin is used as a last resort to feed an addiction to prescription painkillers. In 2016, more than 170,000 persons aged 18 to 25 began taking heroin for the first time.

Heroin Addiction Signs and Symptoms

Heroin is converted to morphine once it reaches the bloodstream. Morphine works by blocking pain receptors and producing euphoria, which is why heroin and other opiates are so popular. The more heroin a person uses, the more they will need to take to achieve the same impact. Addiction and overdosing can occur fast as a result of this. Some of the signs and symptoms of heroin addiction include:

  • Changes in mood  
  • Weight loss 
  • Scabs from skin picking 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Slurred speech 
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Delusions 
  • Avoidance and self-isolation
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Warm, flushed skin 
  • Track marks from injection 
  • Constricted pupils 
  • Paranoia 
  • Anxiety are all signs and symptoms of heroin addiction.

The physical and psychological consequences of heroin can be difficult to detect. Drug users frequently keep their drug use hidden from their loved ones. They may adopt specific behaviours to conceal drug use, such as using at night. Other signs of drug seeking behaviour include:

  • Decreased hygiene 
  • Sudden personality changes 
  • Distance and disinterest in others’ life 
  • Financial difficulties 

Without an addiction treatment program, it’s difficult to stop using heroin and other opiates, and quitting cold turkey can lead to relapse, overdose, and suicidal behavior.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from A Heroin Addiction?

The length of time it takes to withdraw from heroin is determined by how the individual used the drug. Withdrawal symptoms can occur for up to a month after quitting for long-term users, but most people experience them for about a week after quitting.

After ceasing use, withdrawal symptoms begin to appear within 24 hours, peaking three days later. Due to the unpleasant and painful withdrawal symptoms, this is when the user is most likely to relapse. It is imperative that recovering users receive adequate medical support and care during this critical period.

The following are examples of withdrawal symptoms:

  • Stomach pains, nausea and cramping 
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Panic attacks and anxiety
  • Severe drug cravings 
  • Sweating 
  • Fatigue

The Risks of Taking Too Much Heroin?

Between 2014 and 2015, the number of heroin overdose deaths increased by 20%, according to the CDC. Overdosing on heroin can result in dangerous drops in blood pressure, respiratory rate, and heart rate in the user. Seizures, choking on vomit, and eventual death are all possible side effects. Signs of a heroin overdose include: 

  • Shallow breathing 
  • Weak pulse 
  • Pale skin
  • Discoloured Tongue 
  • Seizures and Spasms
  • Coma

Overdose symptoms can appear after ten minutes of injecting heroin. Relapsing users are at a high risk of overdosing if they have recently stopped using the substance. To report an overdose, dial 911 immediately.

A Heroin Addiction Treatment Center in Houston, TX Can Assist You.

Skyward Treatment Center will assist you if you are battling with heroin addiction. Our institution provides inpatient, partial hospitalization, and outpatient treatment programs with varied levels of care. Skyward Treatment offers a safe and efficient detox for everyone, with 24-hour medical supervision and board-certified addiction medicine experts. contact our online team for additional information.

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