Warning Signs of Heroin Addiction
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Heroin use is never acceptable or safe—but the dangers of heroin use don’t stop millions of people from trying and repeatedly using the drug. Early recognition of the warning signs of heroin addiction can make a difference between whether a user continues down a path of destruction or her or she gets the necessary help to overcome this disease. While most of the warning signs are simple to spot, some may be lurking on the sidelines; this is why it is so important to know all of the possible signs of a heroin addiction and to be on the lookout if your know someone whom you suspect may be using.
According to Rutgers Student Health Services, heroin addiction can cause extreme lethargy and drowsiness. The user may look as if he cannot lift his arms or legs; heavy limbs make it difficult to walk upright or to function. This lethargy may persist or it may only be present when the individual is under the influence of the drug.
If you find needles or syringes around the house and there are no other needs for such syringes, there’s a good chance that heroin addiction is to blame. One of the early warning signs of heroin addiction that has spiraled to a point in which the user is injecting the drug is the evidence that comes as a result of the use. Hypodermic needles, caps to syringes, belts, rubber tubing and other paraphernalia may be found in the belongings of the user.
Injecting heroin will leave evidence on the body in the form of track marks. These tiny marks resemble bug bites or small holes on the skin. Track marks can also include bruising or infection if the user has attempted to inject heroin using a dirty needle or if the injection went wrong. Don’t expect only to look for track marks on a user’s arms though—many users will inject in the upper thighs, the neck, under the toenails or in other inconspicuous areas in an attempt to hide the addiction from others.
Bent or Burnt Spoons
Bent or burnt spoons are signs that heroin addiction may be present in your household. Are spoons missing from the kitchen? Have you found spoons with burn marks on the bottom of them? Heroin users will often dissolve the heroin with water in a spoon by cooking it with a lighter. The result is a burnt spoon—one of many signs of heroin addiction.
Using dirty needles, sharing needles, or just generally being uncleanly can lead to infection. Users will often have sinus infections as a result of snorting heroin, and intravenous users are often subject to boils or abscesses in the skin as a result of dirty needles or from injecting various substances into the body. Often times, the infection that occurs will spiral out of control before the user seeks help and may lead to amputation in some cases.
Lack of Personal Hygiene or Appearance
Heroin addiction will take over the user’s life and he or she will no longer focus on looks or personal hygiene. The only focus will be on heroin and as a result, a complete lack of hygiene or personal appearance is common in people who abusing this drug.