Heroin addiction destroys lives, whether it’s the heroin user or the family member of a user. Knowing what the signs of heroin addiction can help you spot a problem in your loved one before their addiction spirals out of control. Here are the signs of heroin addiction and how to treat it.
Signs of Heroin Addiction
- Injection sites, such as track marks, bumps and infected sores
- Collapsed veins
- Drug paraphernalia, such as needles
- Blood infections, such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C
- Bacterial infections
- Small pupils
- Runny nose
- Shallow breathing
- Lack of motivation
- Difficulty speaking/slurred speech
- Poor memory
- Poor hygiene
- Constantly asking for or stealing money
- Visiting seedy neighborhoods or people
- No interest in the future
Signs of Heroin Withdrawal
Another major sign of heroin addiction is if the person experiences withdrawal when they haven’t used heroin for a period of time. These withdrawal symptoms can begin within a few hours and peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose. They will often subside after about a week, but some individuals will experience persistent symptoms for months. Severely dependent users who are in poor health can be at risk for death if sudden withdrawal occurs; however, it is normally less dangerous to withdraw from heroin than alcohol or barbiturates.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms include:
- Muscle and bone pain
- Cold flashes and goose bumps
- Kicking movements
- Severe drug craving
Heroin Addiction Treatment
Heroin is a highly addictive drug that can cause severe dependence and intense withdrawal symptoms. This severe dependence and fear of painful withdrawal symptoms can lead many addicts to avoid heroin addiction treatment, but without treatment and safe detox, many heroin addicts will never fully recover and may even face death.
Treating heroin addiction involves a variety of treatment options, including medications and behavioral therapies. Heroin addiction treatment often begins with medically assisted detox in order to help the patient safely withdraw from the drug; however, detox alone is not a treatment and is not effective in preventing relapse. After detox, patients will receive behavioral treatment through residential or outpatient settings.
At Casa Palmera, our heroin addiction treatment program is based on a holistic program that treats not only the physical dependence on heroin but also the emotional and mental issues that have fueled the drug use. In addition to traditional methods of heroin addiction treatment, we also offer a variety of holistic methods such as acupuncture, massage and yoga to help reduce withdrawal symptoms and return the person to a balanced state of well-being.