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  • Heroin Addiction – What are the Signs and Symptoms to Look For?

    Facts About Heroin Addiction

    Why is Heroin Such a Powerful Degrading Substance?

    Heroin AddictionHeroin was first made in the year of 1898 by a German pharmaceutical company called Bayer. They offered it as a treatment for tuberculosis and a remedy for morphine addiction. Like in history, many times men tried to fix a problem. However, they unintentionally created another one. Thus, is the story of heroin. Incidentally, they used it to treat morphine addicts.

    Today, heroin is anything but a remedy and is one of the biggest evils one can see. Estimations say that 13.5 million people in the world take opioids of which 9.2 million are heroin users.

    Like every other opioid, heroin produces euphoria or a pleasurable feeling. First, when you inject it, the drug travels through the bloodstream directly to the brain. Then, when it reaches the brain, it binds to the opiate receptors. They have a connection to the reward pathways. As a result, they cause euphoria and a sense of overwhelming pleasure.

    Heroin actually produces an effect that rapidly induces a relaxed state. In addition, it blocks the brain’s ability to perceive pain. The pleasurable feelings are immediate and include a warm, calm feeling in the arms and legs. Consequently, you get an increased sense of well-being and confidence.

    How do you Recognize a Heroin User?

    Still, some people tend to overlook signs that may show that someone has a heroin addiction problem. Of course, it is very important to react as soon as possible. Furthermore, do not ignore drastic changes in their behavior and habits.

    What are the Paraphernalia for Heroin Use?

    Usually, people inject, sniff or smoke heroin. An average heroin abuser may inject it up to four times a day. It is possible to dissolve this substance in water. Then, after mixing, the abuser draws the drug into a syringe and inject it into the body. In addition, heroin a user also has the following items:

    • A small silver spoon
    • Aluminum foil or gum wrappers with burn marks
    • A vial of water
    • Cotton tuft or gaze that represents a filter
    • Lighter
    • Missing shoelaces (used as a tie off for injection sites)
    • Small plastic bags, with white powdery residue
    • Water pipes or other pipes
    • Crushing objects such as credit card or razor blade
    • Flat surface such as mirror
    • Tube like objects – drinking straw, pen case

    What are the Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Addiction?

    Of course, the signs and symptoms of abuse will depend on some factors. For example, it can be how much, how often and the duration of abuse. Sometimes, symptoms will emerge immediately, and others after a certain period of time.

    Some immediate symptoms may include:

    • Nausea
    • Fading in and out of wakefulness
    • Shortness of breath
    • Constipation
    • Small pupils
    • Vomiting
    • Itching
    • Dry mouth

    Delayed symptoms include the following:

    • Drowsiness
    • Foggy mental state
    • Sudden changes in behavior or actions
    • Disorientation
    • Hyper alertness followed by a sudden energy decline
    • Slowed breathing
    • Slowed heart rate

    The person abusing heroin for a longer period of time may exhibit other signs like:

    • Needle marks
    • Skin problems
    • Heart problems
    • Liver and kidney problems
    • Lung problems
    • Collapsed veins

    Behavioral changes are the most noticeable and include:

    • Wearing long pants or sleeves, baggy clothes
    • Frequent and long periods of sleeping
    • Slurred speech
    • Lying and secretiveness
    • Legal troubles
    • Use of street slang related to heroin. (junk, smack, dope, white, black tar, chasing the dragon skin, popping, speed, balling)
    • Sudden worsening of performance in daily obligations and chores
    • Loss of motivation
    • Loss of concentration
    • Withdrawal from social events, avoiding friends and family.
    • Emerging of new friends usually involved in drug business
    • Repeatedly stealing or borrowing money, but always broke. (individuals who are around someone who is an addict can notice valuable items go missing)
    • Hostile behavior towards family and friends
    • Decline in self-esteem
    • Complaints of constipation and nausea
    • Failure to eat

    Physical changes start to appear very quickly because the body is deteriorating:

    • Weight loss
    • Runny nose
    • Needle marks
    • Loss of menstrual cycle, for women
    • Cuts and bruises from skin picking

    Heroin Addiction is a Fragile Mental Condition. We Should Treated it as One

    Heroin addicts are, in most cases, completely aware of the damage they are doing to themselves. Nonetheless, the main goal of their every day is to get a fix.

    A small percentage of heroin abusers ask for help. They lack self-confidence and courage to confront the problem. In most cases, they share the burden with the family. Indeed, this is crucial for the withdrawal treatment to begin and finish successfully.

    The poor physical and mental state of the addict can motivate concerned members of the family and friends. As a result, they will want to react and find an effective way to help the person enter a rehab program. It is important to let him/her know that they will cure the heroin addiction. Furthermore, they can leave all of it behind.

    Do you suspect someone you know with an addiction problem? Consult a professional staff working at a call center or a rehabilitation facility. Please feel free to visit one of the web pages. There, you can find information about addiction and rehab options.

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