Contrary to popular belief, heroin users often maintain relatively normal lives. They may be students, parents, and working professionals. For loved ones, it’s important to know how to spot the signs of heroin use and when to get a loved one to help with a heroin addiction treatment program. Like other opioids, heroin is highly addictive and hard to stop using without medical and psychiatric care.
If you suspect your loved one is using heroin, know you are not alone. Call the team at A Better State today at 781.412.1488 to learn more about our heroin treatment program and get started with treatment.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is a semi-synthetic opioid. Originally made from the opium poppy, heroin is known for its painkilling properties and euphoric effects. In the 1800s, heroin was developed in hospital labs as a painkiller but since has been replaced by medications like OxyContin, fentanyl, and other opioids. Heroin today is an illicit street drug made in illegal labs. This means that the FDA does not monitor heroin production, so it’s hard to know how strong a dose is or what is in a dose of illicit heroin. Unfortunately, today’s heroin is often laced with other drugs, like fentanyl, making it stronger, more addictive, and more lethal.
Heroin works by stopping pain receptors in the brain and can change a person’s brain through long-term use. Like other opioids, the more heroin someone takes, the more heroin they will need for the same effect. This is called “drug tolerance.” Unfortunately, it’s easy to quickly build up a heroin tolerance, meaning someone will frequently need to take more heroin. Regular heroin users need heroin every 6-12 hours to prevent withdrawal.
Seven Common Signs of Heroin Use
Heroin comes in a few forms that allow people to smoke, snort, or inject heroin. The way someone takes heroin can affect visible, physical symptoms. Smoking and snorting heroin can lead to a cough and runny nose. Injecting heroin can lead to visible track marks at the injection site. If someone in your life is suddenly wearing long sleeves or picking at skin sores in warm weather, they could be covering track marks. Other physical signs include:
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Sweating and shaking
- Itching flushed skin
- Nodding off easily and increased sleep
- Nausea and vomiting
- Aggressive or reactionary behavior
- Lack of coordination, slurred speech, and confusion
It isn’t always easy to spot if a loved one is using heroin. While physical signs may be predictable, emotional and mental reactions can vary. If someone is living with a co-occurring disorder or unprocessed trauma, they will experience heightened emotional symptoms and can engage in violent, reactionary behavior around others. While many young adults try heroin, addiction and regular use are most common among people over 30.
Learn More About Heroin Addiction Treatment in New Hampshire
Heroin can be especially difficult to stop taking without support. If you and your family are struggling, don’t quit heroin cold turkey. The team at A Better State is here to help. With flexible outpatient treatment programs serving the New Hampshire area, our staff is here to help. Our trauma-informed treatment plans include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Art therapy
- Yoga therapy
- Trauma therapy
- Mindfulness meditation therapy
Whether you’re looking for partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient treatment, or traditional outpatient recovery, the team at A Better State is here to help.
Get Started Today with Heroin Addiction Treatment at A Better State
Spotting the signs of heroin use isn’t always easy. The professionals at A Better State can help. Call us now at 781.412.1488 to learn how our heroin addiction treatment program can help you. Don’t let heroin take over your life or the life of someone you love.