Is your child, friend, or spouse using heroin? Heroin is an opioid drug made using morphine, which comes from the opium poppy plant. Heroin is typically white or brown color and is generally used in a powder form. People inject, smoke, or snort it. Sometimes heroin is mixed with crack cocaine to intensify the experience. Street names for heroin include hell dust, big H, and smack. In all cases, heroin is very dangerous.
How Heroin Works
Heroin generally causes a rush or surge-like feeling that creates a sense of euphoria and pleasure. The feeling does not last long, and as the user builds tolerance, they will need more of the drug to experience the same rush. Heroin is addictive because it attaches to the opioid sensors in the brain, changing the way the brain functions. Eventually, the user will need the drug for their brain to function in a way that feels normal.
Short-Term Effects of Heroin Use
To an observer, the rush heroin causes can be difficult to notice in some people. Some of the most common symptoms users experience during the initial rush include:
- Dry mouth
- Feeling as though the legs and arms are heavy and hard to move
- A flushing of the skin
- Clouded mental function
- Severe itching
- Nausea and vomiting
Some people will fall into and out of consciousness while using.
How Do You Know Your Loved One Is Addicted to Heroin?
Knowing that your loved one is using heroin is scary. When taken regularly, this drug can lead to a variety of consequences, including cognitive dysfunction or overdose. That is why it is so important for you to recognize the signs of heroin addiction and seek help for your loved one.
You may notice changes in their physical appearance that could indicate they are using heroin. This may include, along with the short-term effects, constricted pupils, falling asleep suddenly, and slowed breathing. Sometimes people will have a lack of self-control.
Look further, and you may find other worrisome signs of heroin use:
- They may be wearing long sleeves to cover up their injection scars.
- They may no longer engage with family and friends. In some cases, they seem to withdraw from life and want to be alone all the time.
- Personal relationships tend to suffer. There is little communication.
- They may struggle with responsibilities at home and at work.
If you notice these types of changes, it may be time to confront your loved one about what is happening and why.
Long-Term Effects of Heroin Use
Over time, heroin use becomes addictive and harder to hide. As a person develops tolerance, they are putting themselves at a greater risk of long-term side effects:
- Liver and kidney disease
- Lung complications and ailments
- Depression and antisocial personality disorder
- Stomach pain
- Infection of the heart’s lining and valves
- Sexual dysfunction in men
When these symptoms become evident, a person is likely facing addiction. They need and consistently seek out the drug. If they do not have the drug, they may become irritable and lash out. They may become violently ill as well. These are signs of withdrawal.
What Should You Do If Your Loved One Is Using?
A person in early addiction may be willing and able to communicate openly what is happening and accept help. Others will be unwilling to admit their use or may be so overwhelmed by it that they cannot make the decision to get help.
By limiting their access to financial resources and refusing to engage with them when they are high, you may be able to spark their awareness of their problem and their need for help. Depending on the situation, a drug intervention may also be a critical investment. At DK Solutions Group, we can help you determine your best course of action and, if necessary, help you set up an intervention in Marietta, GA, or the surrounding areas. Give us a call today to discuss the steps you can take to save your loved one’s life.