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What are the Signs of Heroin Abuse?

What are the Signs of Heroin Abuse?

Heroin is an extremely dangerous drug; it is highly addictive, and any amount of use can lead to severe health effects. Shooting heroin can lead to the transmission of diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. 

If you are addicted to heroin, it’s important to address the problem before it’s too late. Recognizing the signs of heroin use will let you know what you should be looking out for. This article will discuss the signs and symptoms of heroin use so you can get treatment before things get out of hand. 

What is Heroin?

Heroin is an opioid. It is made from morphine which is extracted from the seed pod of the poppy plant. It comes in the form of a white powder or a black sticky substance known as black tar. 

The drug can be smoked, snorted, or injected. It can also be mixed with crack cocaine for a process called speedballing.

How Does Heroin Impact the Body?

Heroin enters the body and binds to opioid receptors located in various areas of the brain. It affects feelings of pain and pleasure as well as bodily functions such as heart rate, breathing, and sleep. It produces a euphoric effect that makes many people want to experience the high again, from the moment it wears off. 

What are the Signs of Heroin Abuse?

Any use of heroin is heroin abuse, but it can be especially dangerous when heroin becomes addictive. Here are some heroin use signs that will let you know you are getting in too deep. 

Increased Tolerance

People start developing a tolerance to heroin almost immediately. They will need to take more of it to get the same effects. 

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms will start to develop after using heroin for some time. The body gets used to having heroin in its system and is unable to function sober. It produces symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and agitation. 

Users know the only way to get rid of symptoms short-term is to do more of the drug. This sends them into a vicious cycle of addiction. 

The drug also produces heroin abuse symptoms, including the following: 

Short Term Effects: 

  • Dry mouth
  • Clouded mental functioning 
  • Warm flushing of the skin
  • Extreme itching 
  • Nodding out or going in and out of consciousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heaviness in the arms and legs

Long-Term Effects: 

  • Insomnia
  • Damaged nasal tissue in those that snort heroin
  • Collapsed veins in those that shoot heroin
  • Respiratory complications, including pneumonia
  • Infection in the heart lining and valves
  • Digestive issues like cramping and constipation
  • Sexual dysfunction in men
  • Missed menstrual periods in women
  • Mental disorders such as anxiety and depression
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • Abscesses or swollen tissue filled with puss

Other Complications

Shooting heroin can lead to additional complications. Sharing needles spread diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. Heroin can also be cut with baking soda, sugar, or starch that can clog blood vessels when shot into the party leading to permanent heart or brain damage. 


Heroin slows breathing and heart rate. If you take too much of the drug, it can slow these functions down to the point where it causes hypoxia which involves a reduced amount of oxygen moving to the brain. It can cause permanent brain damage. 

Is There Outpatient Treatment for Heroin Abuse?

Many people are reluctant to enter rehab because they know it will take them away from their jobs and families. Fortunately, outpatient treatment is available. This allows people to split their time between getting care, working, and being with family. 

There are many facilities that offer South Florida outpatient treatment for heroin abuse. But it can be difficult to find one that offers the best services and atmosphere suited to your needs. If you do a bit of research, you will find that Principles Recovery Center checks off all the boxes. 

Principles is a family-owned and operated drug rehab center in South Florida. We provide customized, one-on-one care that provides clients with the required assistance. We work with most major insurance carriers to keep help affordable. If you notice heroin addict symptoms in yourself or a loved one, it’s best to reach out sooner rather than later. Principles Recovery will get you the help you need. Contact us to find out how we can help you attain a higher quality of life.

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