Signs of Heroin Use

signs of heroin useAccording to The Lancet, Britain’s most esteemed medical journal, heroin outranks cocaine, cigarettes, and methamphetamine in its addictive qualities.Synthesized from the juice of the opium poppy, this opiate analgesic is used by doctors to control severe pain in instances of heart attack, injury, and final stage cancers. It’s essentially a significantly stronger and more faster-acting version of morphine.

The drug produces not only a pain-free experience but also complete and utter relaxation and extreme pleasure. Tolerance levels to the substance rise quickly, and the user may feel he or she needs more and more of the drug to achieve the desired effect almost immediately. Such is the path that leads to addiction.  When use stops, withdrawal occurs.  There are signs of heroin use that should be noted if you suspect someone you know may be using.

First Signs of Heroin Use

The first signs of heroin use occur within seconds. They include dry mouth and flushing of the skin. Eye pupils also reduce in size and the person may slip in and out of conscious wakefulness. Respiratory function slows, as do the rest of the body’s processes, most notably in the form of constipation. Short periods of itching, nausea, and vomiting may also result in the minutes and hours after taking the drug, depending upon numerous variables such as the substances combined with the drug when it was originally processed.

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The user will be able to tolerate an increased level of pain because of the drug’s analgesic qualities. This, along with the addict’s reduced level of consciousness may cause clumsiness, resulting in falls, and bumps, bruises and cuts may be found all over the body. Perhaps the most direct sign of heroin use is needle marks on a user’s arms or legs. Though addicts may attempt hiding them, they may also attempt using through blood vessels that aren’t so obvious to avoid detection.

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Signs of Heroin Use in the Withdrawal Stage

Signs of heroin use are much easier to spot during the withdrawal stage. They include muscle and bone pain, hot and cold flashes, involuntary leg movements, severe, persistent diarrhea and vomiting.

Heroin use is said to be the most difficult addiction to kick. Though major withdrawal symptoms are at their worst from 24 and 48 hours after the last use and may decrease after about a week, in rare cases, some symptoms may last for months. Heroin can cause such serious health problems, pregnant heroin users have an increased risk of miscarriage during withdrawal. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)

As most non-users will not be around to assess initial symptoms, (heroin users are notoriously secretive and will often use alone or only with fellow addicts) it is easier to pick up on long term signs of heroin use.For more information, visit Heroin Anonymous or contact us for effective and supportive treatment options.

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