Heroin Addiction

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”HEROIN ADDICTION” font_container=”tag:h1|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Heroin is a powerful street drug derived from the opium poppy. Its effects reach the brain quickly, and a user can develop a strong dependency in a relatively short period of time. Once the user becomes addicted to heroin, their main purpose in life is to search out and use the drug.


There are several varieties of heroin, most of which can be snorted, smoked, or injected into the veins. Pure heroin is white in form and very strong. Cut heroin, heroin with added impurities, usually has a brown tinge and is slightly less potent. And black tar heroin is black and tar like or hard, like a rock.

Because it is so addictive, using heroin just one time can start the user on the path to addiction. Withdrawal symptoms can be painful—even life threatening—and they may compel the addict to use more of the drug to ease the pain.


Many heroin addicts are able to hide symptoms of drug use from loved ones and coworkers for a short period of time. Soon, though, as the addiction intensifies, they will not be able to.

Some signs include shortness of breath, dry mouth, constricted pupils, sudden changes in behavior, disorientation, droopy limbs, and cycles of hyper alertness followed by sleepiness.

While those symptoms may indicate addiction to other drugs as well, some drug paraphernalia is more unique to heroin.

  • Needles and syringes
  • Burned metal spoons
  • Aluminum foil with burn marks
  • Missing shoelaces used for tying off the injection site
  • Straws with burn marks
  • Plastic bags with white or black residue
  • Glass pipes

There is also a number of behavioral signs indicative of heroin addiction. Each of these signs alone does not point strictly to heroin, but if several or more of them is seen in an individual, it is a good indication of heroin addiction.

  • Lying or deceptive behavior
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Distant field of vision
  • Slurred, garbled, or incoherent speech
  • Missing school or work
  • Decreased attention to hygiene and physical appearance
  • Lack of motivation or interest in activities
  • Stealing money or other valuables
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts to hide injection sites

As a heroin addict uses long term, their tolerance of the drug will grow. They will begin using it more frequently, and other signs will begin to appear.

  • Weight loss
  • Runny nose
  • Needle track marks on their arms
  • Infections at the injection site
  • Loss of menstrual cycle, in women
  • Scabs and scars from picking at their skin

Heroin addicts often lose control of their lives rapidly as they search out the drug. Withdrawal makes it difficult for them to quit using, and the cycle of abuse continues. If you or a loved one is battling with heroin addiction, contact a professional today.


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