Heroin is an illegal and highly dangerous drug and the signs of heroin addiction may be concealed, that does not stop people from developing horrible heroin habits, quickly spiraling into full-blown heroin addiction. Sometimes, heroin addiction grows from the abuse of “tamer” opiates, such as prescription painkillers. In other instances, the user starts immediately with street drugs, either taking heroin straight or cutting it with other harmful substances.
Though heroin addiction can seem desperate and desolate, it is never hopeless. Recovery is possible, but not without the clinical assistance of an addiction treatment program. Before seeking treatment—for yourself or a loved one—it is important to understand the disease more fully, and to learn some of the deadly hallmarks of heroin use.
Health Side Effects and Signs of Heroin Addiction
Initially, heroin use feels good. It provides a rush, which can last for varying lengths of time, just depending on the intensity of the drug and the delivery method. With that said, the rush is accompanied by a number of less desirable physical symptoms—including:
And the rush doesn’t last forever. As it subsides, the user begins to grow drowsy. The heart rate slows and breathing lessens. The user can sink into a kind of a trance, which can potentially last for several hours.
More problematically, heroin users develop a kind of tolerance to the drug. What this means is that higher and higher doses are needed to achieve the same rush, and to stave of the symptoms of withdrawal.
Additionally, long-term heroin use can result in some truly serious medical complications—including:
- Bacterial infections in the blood veins and heart valves
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Lung disease
- Hepatitis B and C
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
Heroin addiction is powerful. The drug creates deep physical and psychological dependence—and that dependence escalates over time. Recovery is more than possible—but it is never easy. The detox process in which the addict must contend with withdrawal symptoms can be especially taxing.
Some of the possible symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:
Loss of appetite
Nausea and vomiting
In and of themselves, these symptoms are seldom life-threatening. However, they can be so intense and extreme that they drive the user to use other drugs—or more heroin—to mitigate the pain. And that can be lethal.
This is what makes it so important to seek clinical detox; home detox is simply too dangerous. New Start Recovery can provide a controlled, clinical environment in which withdrawal symptoms can be mitigated and managed. To learn more, contact New Start Recovery today.
How to Help with Heroin Addiction
If you see the signs of heroin addiction or know someone who is grappling with heroin addiction, the best thing you can do is express your concern and offer your support. Don’t be accusatory or judgmental. Instead, let them know that you are in their corner; that you hope they seek recovery, and that you are willing to walk with them every step of the way.
Intervention for Heroin Addiction
Detox is the first step toward heroin addiction recovery. From there, an inpatient or outpatient program may be found. But before that can happen, it is imperative to be aware of the signs of heroin addiction and detoxify your body and mind from heroin’s poisonous effects. Start the process today. Call New Start Recovery and ask about getting a clean slate.