Author: James Anderson

Drug addiction substance use disorder Symptoms and causes

symptoms of heroin use

If you’re right, speaking up could save the life of someone dear to you. It is important to help support a person experiencing this form of substance use disorder to seek treatment as soon as possible. A person showing signs of heroin withdrawal may exhibit changes in behavior, such as increased aggression, or physical symptoms, such as shaking and sweating. If you think you or a loved one has developed an addiction to heroin, talk with your doctor or another healthcare provider.

It can also give them skills for coping with stressful events in life. Heroin addiction can severely impact a person’s life and the lives of their friends and family. Physical addiction appears to occur when repeated use of a drug changes the way your brain feels pleasure. The addicting drug causes physical changes to some nerve cells (neurons) in your brain. Neurons use chemicals called neurotransmitters to communicate. These changes can remain long after you stop using the drug.

symptoms of heroin use

For others, particularly with opioids, drug addiction begins when they take prescribed medicines or receive them from others who have prescriptions. People who are addicted to opioids still may hold down jobs and seem stable at work and home. But over time, the opioid use disorder is likely to lead to serious problems. When addicted to a drug, a person will continue to use the drug even when it makes life worse.

Preventing drug misuse in children and teenagers

Signs of opioid abuse may be hard to see clearly, especially in someone you love. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides a free national helpline. The service is confidential and available 24-7, every day of the year.

People with an opioid use disorder experience an intense, overwhelming desire to take opioids. They also have increased tolerance to opioids and experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking them. Signs of heroin addiction can include many physical and mental symptoms and changes to a person’s lifestyle. Going through detox from heroin can be painful and uncomfortable, on top of intense cravings for the drug. People sometimes use heroin to stop the pain from withdrawal and detox itself. Signs and symptoms of inhalant use vary, depending on the substance.

Drugs & Supplements

Heroin addiction can have severe consequences for people and their loved ones. While this issue can be challenging to talk about, having a conversation with a person about their relationship to heroin may help save their life. Because of this, medication can ease cravings and physical withdrawal symptoms, reducing the likelihood of using heroin during detox. The two main forms of opioid use disorder treatment are pharmacological (medication) and behavioral.

  1. Some additives are deadly and can kill a person within minutes.
  2. This article will explain the signs of heroin addiction, including mental and physical signs.
  3. The healthcare professional is an important partner if you decide it’s time to take action.
  4. They may also feel they have no choice but to steal money and valuables from people around them to pay for heroin.

There are various kinds of treatments for opioid use disorder. Using multiple forms of treatment is often more effective than just using one. During the intervention, these people gather together to have a direct, heart-to-heart conversation with the person about the consequences of addiction. People struggling with addiction usually deny they have a problem and hesitate to seek treatment.

Even healthcare professionals may overlook common signs of opioid misuse if they feel they know the person and don’t look for signs in an objective way. Ask yourself some questions about your loved one’s personal risk of opioid use disorder and the changes you’ve seen. Reach out to your loved one’s healthcare professional if your answers point toward a possible addiction.

Detoxing from the drug is the first step in most treatments. If detox is physically impossible to endure, further treatment will be less effective. To enhance the safety of detox, it’s best the person is medically supervised. Addiction can happen to anyone, and anyone who takes opioids can be at risk for developing an opioid use disorder. If a person takes an opioid repeatedly over time, the brain doesn’t naturally produce dopamine as it once did. This results in the person taking higher or more frequent doses of the opioid in order to achieve the same level of good feeling.

Over time, addiction can become more noticeable as it takes over the user’s life. For example, it may seem like someone who’s addicted to heroin worries more about getting their next dose than anything else. A person with a heroin addiction may develop new friendships with people who also take the drug.

News from Mayo Clinic

These pain-relieving drugs act in similar ways to heroin. If you’re not ready to approach a health care provider or mental health professional, help lines or hotlines may be a good place to learn about treatment. You can find these lines listed on the internet or in the phone book. As time passes, you may need larger doses of the drug to get high. As your drug use increases, you may find that it’s increasingly difficult to go without the drug.

Needles, pipes, and spoons with lighters are often used. In some cases, people who are addicted to heroin use rubber tubing or elastic bands as tourniquets to make their veins larger. This helps them inject heroin into veins that have been damaged by regular heroin use. A person on heroin may not look like they’re “on drugs.” They may just seem sleepy. People who are addicted almost always deny that they’re using. No matter how you take it, heroin gets to your brain quickly.

Other examples include ketamine and flunitrazepam or Rohypnol — a brand used outside the U.S. — also called roofie. These drugs are not all in the same category, but they share some similar effects and dangers, including long-term harmful effects. People with a history of heroin addiction may develop kidney, liver, or heart disease because of their drug use. They may experience frequent infections because their immune system is unable to fight off bacteria. Additionally, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help modify a person’s expectations and behaviors related to taking heroin.

Is your family member or friend using opioid medicines in a harmful way? It may not be easy to tell, especially in the early stages of addiction. Maybe you’ve seen changes in your loved one’s moods or behavior. Or maybe you have a feeling that your loved one is misusing opioids, even if you’re not sure.