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The Telltale Signs of Someone High on Heroin

Once you begin to suspect that someone you love has a drug or alcohol problem, you may feel like your head is swimming. You may find that you have more questions than answers as you try to determine if they have a problem and what drugs they are using. The first step is to begin to look at the situation and gather information objectively. You’ll want to understand the effects of different drugs so that you can learn if they are exhibiting the signs of someone high on heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, or other drugs. Once you begin to piece together the puzzle, the next step will be assessing their readiness to get help to get sober.  At Evolve Indy, we understand how overwhelming it can feel when a loved one is active in their addiction. We are here to help you wade through the pieces of the puzzle and help your loved one find their way to sobriety.

What Is Heroin and What Does It Look Like?

Heroin is an illegal drug that falls into the opioid class.  While it is chemically similar to prescription drugs such as Oxycontin or Vicodin, it is only available illegally. Heroin comes in multiple forms. It is usually a black, sticky tar or a powder that is white or brown. Referred to as smack, junk, H, black tar, and horse, heroin is illegal. Heroin can be taken on its own but is often cut with other drugs or even sugar or powdered milk. It can be taken in multiple ways.  Those who “shoot up” mix it with water to inject it with a needle. 

In addition to looking for the signs of someone being high on heroin, you might also be on the lookout for the supplies that come with its use. Those who inject heroin will typically have a belt for tying off their arm, needles, spoons, syringes, and lighters. Others will inhale the drug after using a lighter to burn the drug on aluminum foil.  Those who inhale the drug will have foil, straws, and lighters. 

What Are the Signs of Someone High on Heroin?

While the appearance of a heroin user will change over time, some signs occur right when someone uses them. Symptoms of someone high on heroin include extremely pinpoint pupils, appearing sleepy, and having somewhat slurred or slower speech. Over time, you may begin to notice the changes when they are actively using and when they are between using. In between uses, they may report muscle and bone pain, chills, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, and itchiness. Your friend may seem to be moving in slow motion or may seem as if they have the flu. Those who inject heroin will also have track marks and may also develop abscesses at injection sites. Those who smoke will often smell like cigarette smoke, have burns or sores, and develop a persistent cough. Regardless of whether they smoke or inject heroin, nearly all users will have dark circles or puffiness under the eyes, a perpetually runny nose, and an overall slowness to their actions. Beyond the physical signs, you may also notice changes in the person’s mood; they may exhibit mood swings or not have interest in anything outside of using heroin. 

How Do I Get My Friend Help With a Heroin Addiction?

We know about the heartbreak of heroin addiction at Evolve Indy. We know what it takes to get free from drugs, and we have programs to meet your loved one’s needs. We understand how to help someone build a foundation to set them up for long-term sobriety. We partner with our clients to help them achieve success in recovery. We have a wide variety of programs that blend traditional and non-traditional therapies to treat addiction. Our programs range from residential to outpatient, and we will work to find the best fit. Contact us today to see how we can best support your loved one in their journey to sobriety. 

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