Heroin is one of the drugs contributing to the broader opioid epidemic in the US. Made from morphine, it creates euphoria when used. The risk of overdose is very high among long-term heroin users. That makes knowing the physical signs of heroin use critical information for an early intervention.
Track Marks As Early Signs of Heroin Use
One of the most infamous physical signs of heroin use is tracks marks at the elbows. Track marks are either scar tissue at the elbow or red injection sites from repeated use. Track marks often show up on a person’s non-dominant arm. Chronic users might also inject on their legs or feet.
Chronic users often shoot up at whatever location they score their heroin and with whatever needle is at hand. That drastically increases the odds they’ll pick up an infection at the injection site. Picking or scratching at the injection site is one of the symptoms of heroin use and can also cause infection. In serious cases, an abscess will form and you should seek treatment from a medical professional.
Weight loss is one of the most common physical signs of heroin use. The euphoric feelings associated with heroin use masks other physical cues like hunger. Heroin users often suffer from some degree of malnutrition in addition to their addiction.
Another of the symptoms of heroin use is a chronic runny nose. This is one of the more telltale physical signs of heroin use because it has so many other potential causes. If a person doesn’t exhibit any signs of a cold and has no history of allergies, it can prove a sign of heroin use.
Heroin users often move through a noticeable pattern. They’ll act very drowsy for several hours. Then, they’ll become hyper-alert for a time. This hyper-alert states evaporates into another stretch of drowsiness. This drowsy period will often appear at abnormal times of the day when most people are awake and alert.
Treatment for Signs of Heroin Use
Heroin use creates a lot of physical risks beyond overdose. Using dirty needles wherever someone buys their heroin not only increases the risks of picking up a basic infection at the injection site, it also increases the odds of contracting HIV/AIDS. Getting someone into treatment as soon as possible is the best defense against these outcomes.
Most people receive treatment through a rehab center. Rehab centers use multiple therapies in addiction treatment, including:
Gateway Foundation Swansea Treats Signs of Heroin Use
Gateway Foundation Swansea is an outpatient heroin rehab center Swansea Illinois can trust. Overall, Gateway Foundation embraces a holistic treatment approach that includes mindfulness, meditation, and yoga.
If heroin use affects you or someone you love, the story can still have a good ending. A good rehab program can help you or your loved one put heroin use behind you. Contact Gateway Foundation Swansea at 618.234.9002 and we’ll help you start the process of recovery.