What You Need to Know about Heroin Addiction

substance use and abuseHeroin addiction is devastating for the addicted individual and for his or her loved ones, as well. Rehabilitation from substance use and abuse is always a difficult battle to overcome and addiction to heroin is no exception. If your friend or family member is suffering from this addiction, you must remain sympathetic to his or her needs. It will definitely be tough, but it is entirely possible that he or she will get through this, especially with your help. Building a meaningful support system is crucial during this time.

Substance Use and Abuse: What is Heroin?

Heroin is an illegal drug that is highly addictive. It is processed from morphine, which is a naturally prominent substance obtained from the seeds of poppy plants. The abuse of this dangerous drug is common. It is often sold in a white or brownish form of powder, or even a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin. Often, heroin abusers don’t actually know the true contents of the drug or its strength, which puts them at even greater risk of overdose or even death. Heroin is taken through the use of needles, which increases the user’s risk of contracting HIV and other conditions that can be obtained from sharing needles and other tools.

Symptoms and Signs of Heroin Addiction

The substance use and abuse of heroin causes a “downer” effect on the abuser. Be aware that those addicted to heroin, especially individuals with a previous history of drug abuse, could in fact hide the signs and symptoms of heroin use at the beginning

Some of the symptoms experienced felt by heroin abusers include dry mouth, shortness of breath, disorientation, small pupils, drowsy appearance, abrupt changes in behavior, and spurts of sudden alertness.

Another warning sign to watch out for is the possession of paraphernalia utilized for preparing, injecting and consuming heroine. These items may include pipes, water pipes, small plastic bags that have white powder residue, straws with burn markings, missing shoelaces to tie off for injections, gum wrappers or aluminum foil, burned silver spoons, and needles or syringes.

More Clues to Substance Use and Abuse

substance use and abuseThe substance use and abuse of heroin also leads to behavioral symptoms that affect the abuser. He or she may show signs of deceptive behavior. Addicts also usually avoid eye contact, exhibit loss of motivation, and have a significant increase in sleeping hours.You will also notice sudden poor performance in work or studies and decreasing attention to physical appearance and hygiene.Addicts usually spend less time with family and friends, and begin to show a lack of interest in meaningful or positive activities and hobbies.

Obvious signs of substance use and abuse are antagonistic behavior towards loved ones, the wearing of long sleeves and long pants, even in warm weather, to conceal needle marks, and an increase in slurred speech.Repetitively stealing or borrowing money, or possibly even the unexplained loss of valuables, is also a common sign of drug addiction.

Overcoming Substance Use and Abuse Takes Support

Simply put, any form of substance use and abuse is not a good thing. Thankfully, excellent professional guidance is available, but remember that heroin addiction cannot be fixed overnight. The process requires time, discipline and perseverance for everyone involved. Helping your loved one overcome this addiction will definitely be a challenging task; the key is to be patient and strongly supportive in any way possible.

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