Common Signs Of Heroin Addiction

In North America, the opioid crisis is on the rise. People continue turning to pain medication to alleviate physical ailments, causing physical and psychological dependence. When opioids become too expensive or difficult to obtain, many users turn to heroin. 

Some states have seen more of an impact on heroin addiction than others. In terms of overdoses from heroin, a devastating increase in recent years has been seen. Today, Pennsylvania is among the top five states leading the nation in the opioid epidemic, and heroin statistics are largely to blame. So what are the signs of heroin addiction, and how is it treated? 

Why Talk About The Opioid Epidemic?

Why is the opioid epidemic relevant to heroin addiction? Chemically speaking, the two are quite similar, created originally to provide pain-relieving qualities to people suffering from physical ailments. Due to the euphoric effects these drugs can produce, people report becoming addicted to the overall sense of well-being they provide.

How Do Opioids And Heroin Function?

Opioids function by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain the same way heroin does. The brain becomes psychologically dependent on the drug, to the point that dopamine regulation becomes a job for the substance rather than for the brain. Drug addicts suffering from heroin addiction can go through debilitating withdrawal symptoms when coming off of heroin due to the brain and body’s dependence on the drug.

Heroin is derived from the poppy plant and has been used and abused for decades. Many heroin addicts report using synthetic opioids at one time or another when their drug of choice was not available. Similarly, opioid addicts run out of their prescription, only to be told by a doctor they aren’t allowed to prescribe more painkillers. They then turn to the streets to buy heroin to satisfy their craving. Many heroin addicts report starting as opioid addicts.

Signs Of Heroin Addiction

It isn’t always easy to spot a heroin addiction. Many functioning drug addicts are keeping up appearances and participating in everyday activities. Young adults ages 24-34 have seen the highest overdose rates, many of them in college or still living with their parents. A drug problem can go unnoticed for quite a while if those concerned about the addict do not know what to look for.


The first thing to be aware of is behavior. Substance abusers falling victim to heroin addiction will begin to act very differently. Their moods will change. They will start appearing sleepy, or ‘nodding.’ 

The individuals will start isolating and locking themselves in their rooms. Pay attention to a change in friends or activities. Heroin addicts will have a hard time moderating their use, once addicted, so those who start by using opioids may begin taking them in noticeably larger amounts.

Appearance Changes

Watch for changes in appearance, such as greasy hair, red eyes, or pinned pupils. Heroin constricts blood vessels and pupils, giving the appearance of tiny pins in the eyes. Unkempt appearances, dirty clothes, dirty fingernails, or anything out of the ordinary could be a sign that something is off.

Change in Appetite

Also, watch for changes in appetite. Heroin addicts can go either way when it comes to eating. Some addicts report heroin suppressing their appetite, and other addicts claim to get even hungrier. With the feeling of euphoria, addicts will try and intensify this by any means possible, which sometimes means eating more junk food. The keyword is change—any considerable changes in appetite or body weight could indicate a problem.

Listen To Your Intuition

Setting aside the common signs of heroin addiction, the biggest indicator is your intuition. Usually, it is obvious when someone goes from being a social drug user to a full-blown heroin addict. Some addicts may be able to function in society for a time, but eventually, their behavior will catch up to them. The trick is catching the abuse before it’s too late. And with overdose rates spiking dramatically, it’s important now more than ever to know what to watch for.

Heroin Addiction Freedom Awaits At Little Creek Recovery

When individuals might have problems with heroin, it also provides access to solutions. Those seeking an effective heroin addiction treatment program need look no further than Little Creek Recovery. Whether you have identified the common signs of heroin addiction in a loved one or even in yourself, we are here to help. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you overcome the torment of addiction and learn to live drug-free.

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