Heroin is a fast-acting opiate. When it’s injected, there is a surge of euphoria that arrives within seconds. Those using the drug other ways may not feel this surge as sharply.
The user will get a dry mouth and his or her skin will flush. The user’s pupils will be constricted. He will feel heavy and dopy and may fade in and out of wakefulness. Heroin users may nod off suddenly. Breathing will be slowed, which is how an overdose kills.
When awake, the person’s thinking will be unclear. They will tend to lose some of their memory. Their decision-making and self-control are likely to deteriorate.
Some of the less “pleasant” signs of heroin use are the itching, nausea and vomiting that may accompany heroin use. Another sign of heroin use is the constipation often suffered by opiate abusers. The regular user of this drug may look for laxatives. They may experience skin or other kinds of infections and a lowered immunity to illness.
The user’s pain will be suppressed, which is not surprising because opiates are used for pain relief. On the tragic side, however, is the fact that the signs of heroin use can include spontaneous abortion.
Remnants of Heroin Use That You Might Find
Heroin is usually smoked, snorted or injected. So depending on the method of administration, you could find remnants of the drugs or the paraphernalia of drug use left behind. Heroin itself may be a powdery or crumbly substance, ranging all the way from off-white to dark brown. Black tar heroin is nearly black and is sticky instead of powdery.
You might find syringes or small glass or metal pipes. A person dissolving the drug and injecting it might also leave dirty spoons and lighters around. A person injecting also needs some device to cause the veins to enlarge, so there may be belts or rubber tubing found in the area where he or she is using the heroin.
One of the many sad things about heroin addiction is that the addict is seldom aware of the damage being done to his or her life. They will often begin to neglect their own needs, the acquisition of the day’s dose of heroin being far more important. They may not eat properly and may look haggard if heroin abuse is prolonged or heavy.
Some heroin addicts may ask for help but the majority fear the pain and sickness of withdrawal. It is very often up to the family members to rescue the heroin-addicted person and get him or her into withdrawal. It may only be by knowing the signs of heroin use that you can detect the addiction and begin to make arrangements for rehabilitation. An addict may try to conceal symptoms of heroin use, by wearing long-sleeved clothing to cover needle marks. The family must refuse to accept the lies and simply help the person arrive at rehab.