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Addiction is a heartbreaking disease. It’s difficult to watch someone you love completely waste away on any substance. Heroin, however, is often one of the last stops on this ride.

Addicts are creative, intelligent people. They will go to rehab selling the story they want to get better, all the while planning their relapse. Sometimes they use rehab as a “break” from their addiction or to gather their thoughts in a safe place on how to not get caught their next go-round.

As a parent, spouse, sibling, or friend, sometimes you have to spot the hidden signs of heroin addiction. It’s tough, you want to trust this person, but you know something is off.

Keep reading for 7 signs of heroin addiction:

Irritation for No Apparent Reason

You may not realize what’s going on, but the addict could be out or close to being out of their drug. Not only is this irritating to them, they also know if they don’t get it in time, withdrawal symptoms will start.

In the event that you stop enabling them, they will find money to get the drug by any means possible.

Missing Items from Your Home

If a loved one is addicted to heroin, you may discover missing items from your room, garage, other areas of the house, or car.

The missing items usually range in value, because they think they can get more money than realistically is possible. They often want to trade/sell/pawn the item to ensure their next fix.

Long Sleeves and Pants

If someone you know is wearing long sleeves and pants year-round and is NOT religious, this could be a sign of a mental health issue or heroin addiction.

Oftentimes, heroin addicts have extreme itching as a side effect of the drug which will lead to scratching the skin until it bleeds. This will form scabs and eventually recurring sores.

There are also typically bruises and track marks at the injection sites, whether it be on the arms, hands, between the fingers or toes, groin area, and even the neck.

Apathy

A person who is actively using heroin will lose any enthusiasm they once had for school or work. Really, the care only about the drug and making sure they have enough.

This will lead to possible job loss, and maybe homelessness if someone doesn’t enable them further by providing a place to lay their heads.

Depression

Unfortunately, one of the sides effects of heroin use is depression. This is because heroin interrupts the brain’s ability to make dopamine on its own.

A lack of dopamine and the dependence heroin is a combination that leads to depression. The apathy we previously mentioned, as well as an overall sense of hopelessness if quite often highly visible to loved ones closest to the individual using this drug.

A Whole New Friend Group

Drug users generally hang out with other users because those are the only people that “get” them. Other users understand the need to avoid withdrawal the attitude of “by any means necessary.”

If your loved one is hanging out with people that look like their addicts or that you suspect to be using, chances are, you’re right. It’s not to say you should judge someone based on looks. But intuition is something that has served humanity well for a reason.

Stomach Cramping

Heroin, like other opioids, causes constipation. Constipation is sure to cause stomach cramps and sometimes bloating. This is something not advertised but if you noticed a supply of laxatives when you normally don’t keep them on hand, something may be going on.

It’s an odd sign to pay attention to, but it is quite telling. Also, chronic constipation from drug use is dangerous.

Other Signs of Heroin Addiction

There are many other signs of heroin addiction. Some include insomnia, mental disorders other than depression, lung complications, and infection of the heart lining.

People display signs and symptoms differently. No matter how careful the addict in your life thinks they’re being, he/she will eventually be found out.

When they are found out or finally decide they’re ready to get help, be ready to move, as the decision to go to rehab can be a scary one. Your loved one might change their mind quickly. Contact us to start the healing process.