Symptoms of Heroin Addiction | Harbor Village of Miami Florida - Harbor Village

Symptoms of Heroin Addiction

Understanding Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction is not a choice. Addiction is a treatable condition like any other disorder, and influences the entire body, and one’s ability to function appropriately. Heroin addiction left untreated typically results in job loss, divorce, and homelessness. heroin addicts do not suffer from moral character failings, they are victimized by a highly potent illicit substance which creates a physical dependency within their body. People who are addicted to heroin literally cannot function without the presence of opiates within their bodies. Taking heroin becomes less and less of a pleasure, and more as a means of survival. Without heroin those who are physically and mentally dependent on the substances are floored into an unbearable withdrawal state. Catching heroin abuse early and getting immediate treatment is the key to preventing lasting damage to the physical body, brain, and mental health. Heroin addiction is widely misunderstood by the general public, and creates a negative stigma revolving getting heroin addiction treatment. By learning about the intricacies of the addiction treatment becomes more accepted and encouraged. As it stands only 1 out of 10 people with substance use disorders will get the treatment they need.  

Causes of Heroin Addiction

There are a thousand doors to heroin, but many make the switch to the street drug after becoming addicted to prescription opiates including OxyContin, Vicodin, and Dilaudid. When patients run out of their prescriptions, they typically attempt to buy the drug on the street, but are limited by their financial resources to keep up with their habit. Eventually users switch over to heroin because the substance satisfies their biological need for an opiate, and is drastically less expensive. Many first try heroin because the substance initially makes its users feel euphoric and connected with the people and world around them. Unfortunately these effects are short lived, and reclaim the small joys they bestow. Many who are unable to cope with their emotional turmoil seek heroin as an escape from reality. Going to addiction treatment helps recovering users learn how to cope with the underlying stresses which lead to abuse and addiction.  


Red Flags of Possible Heroin Use

  • Possession of needles/syringes
  • Burned spoons
  • Littered fragments of aluminum foil with burn marks
  • Missing shoelaces
  • Small baggies with white powder residue
  • Presence of pipes
  • Dry mouth
  • Disorientation
  • Nodding off when inappropriate

Symptoms of Heroin Addiction and Dependence

When heroin addiction establishes itself as a chronic condition the indications of use are more prominent, as heroin has many outwards signs of use, stemming both from one’s physical appearance and behavior. The following are common symptoms among people with heroin use disorders:
  • Track marks on arms, in between toes, or other injection sites
  • Disregard for hygiene
  • Infection or abscesses of injection sites
  • Loss of menstrual cycle
  • Shallow breathing
  • Bouts of itching
  • Compulsive scratching
  • Heart problems
  • Liver disease
  • Seizures
  • Arthritis
Getting treatment for heroin addiction has become easier and streamlined with medically assisted drug treatment, which helps users get back on their feet and back into the swing of things faster as compared to other treatment models. Heroin rehabilitation helps users understand the underlying causes of addiction and confront them directly. Medically assisted drug treatment has been proven to reduce relapse and overdose rates exponentially.

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