The 4 Signs of Heroin Addiction

Last Updated: Feb 24th 2020

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

Heroin is an opiate that comes from synthetic morphine or codeine. Unfortunately, developing an addiction to the drug is easy because it alters the brain’s chemical balance. Overall, abuse and addiction cause short and long-term problems throughout the body. Knowing the signs of heroin addiction, specifically, helps you determine when help is necessary.

Four Major Signs of Heroin Addiction

There are numerous indicators that someone suffers from heroin addiction. However, there are four that are the most notable.

Tolerance

Generally, people build heroin tolerance quickly no matter how long they’ve been using the drug. This condition occurs when their bodies no longer feel the same euphoric high as when they first began abusing the substance.

Furthermore, tolerance develops at a cellular level because heroin binds to the body’s opiate receptors. The receptor binding affects the enzyme that controls several chemicals. Over time, the enzyme adapts so that heroin no longer affects its functioning. Therefore, people must take higher doses of the drug to feel the same effects.

Relationship Problems

When people start using heroin, they usually spend time with others who also abuse the drug. Thus, they may develop unhealthy relationships which encourage negative behaviors and habits. These habits affect family relationships as well.

Additionally, heroin can make people neglect their personal obligations. Consequently, addiction leads to broken marriages, family turmoil, and lost friendships. Some people become violent when using heroin. Thus, child abuse, domestic violence, and loss of child custody could occur as a result.

Financial Trouble

In addition to abandoning personal obligations, some people with heroin addiction develop poor work performance. In severe cases, they stop working altogether. Even using small amounts of heroin impairs mood, motor skills, and activity levels. Overall, these effects impact people’s ability to hold a job. It’s very likely that companies fire them.

Using heroin is already an expensive habit. However, people with addiction will do anything to obtain drugs. Often, they spend large amounts of money, draining their checking and savings accounts, in order to support their habit. Consequently, losing their jobs makes their financial situation even worse.

Dependence and Withdrawal

Physical dependence occurs alongside heroin addiction. Users are often aware of their dependence because heroin withdrawal occurs when ending drug use.

Unfortunately, symptoms begin in just a few hours. The most common are muscle pain, restlessness, and sweating. Others include bone pain, diarrhea, insomnia, and vomiting. These symptoms stop when users take more heroin, leading many to relapse.

Get Help to Stop Using Heroin

If you identify with these signs of heroin addiction, 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida can help. Our caring treatment center offers various addiction programs, including:

Don’t let heroin ruin your relationships or career. Regain control with our help. Contact us at (866) 319-6126 to transform your life for the better.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.