Be Aware of Heroin Abuse Signs

The opioid receptors on the brain are inhibited or reduced by opioids, so pain is alleviated. The user’s brain also releases endorphins, and he or she may feel euphoric, happy, or high after using them. Signs of heroin use and other illicit opioids have these characteristics, making them highly addictive.

Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Use

Symptoms of heroin addiction can be physical, behavioral, or psychological. Here are some warning signs to look for:

Heroin Side Effects on Skin

  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Heroin face sores
  • Heroin track marks
  • Itchy or flushed skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation and stomach pains
  • Falling asleep without warning
  • Constricted or small pupils
  • Slurred or incoherent speech

Psychological and Behavioral Effects of Heroin Use

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Lying or deceptive behavior
  • Avoiding eye contact with others
  • Loss of motivation
  • Lack of interest in hobbies or activities
  • Decreasing quality of performance at school or work
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Hostile behavior toward loved ones
  • Repeatedly stealing or borrowing money from others
  • Wearing long sleeves or pants to hide needle marks
  • Lower attention to personal hygiene

Health Consequences of Heroin Use

Similar to other drugs and substances, heroin can cause a myriad of long-term, negative health consequences. Chronic heroin use may result in:

  • Damage to the brain and heart
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • Collapsed veins
  • Skin infections
  • Pulmonary infections
  • Development of mental health disorders
  • Constipation or stomach cramping
  • Pneumonia and other lung complications
  • Sexual dysfunction in men and infertility in women
  • Increased risk of Hepatitis or HIV
  • Increased risk of heroin overdose

It’s important to keep in mind that these health consequences are not a requirement for an opioid use disorder. Drug addiction can occur before these health consequences manifest.