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Signs Of Heroin Use & How To Get Help


Heroin is one of the most dangerous drugs in the world. It is extremely addictive and toxic to the body. Moreover, heroin requires increasing dosages to achieve the same effect, making it one of the most common causes of drug overdoses in the United States and abroad. Sadly, more and more people are getting hooked on heroin every day. If you believe that you or someone you know might be addicted to heroin, do not hesitate to reach out to the experts at Prosperity Haven for help.

However, it is not always easy to recognize if someone needs help with heroin addiction, especially if you do not know much about the drug or its effects. So, in today’s guide, we will answer some of the most common and important questions about heroin. For example, what is heroin? What does the drug look like? What are the physical and behavioral signs of heroin abuse? Read on to learn more.

What Is Heroin?

Heroin is an illegal opioid drug that is made from morphine. Morphine is a natural substance that can be obtained from the seeds of opium poppy plants grown throughout the world, including parts of Asia, Mexico, and Colombia. Thanks to international drug cartels, heroin is relatively easy to find for sale on the streets in major cities around the world. Consequently, there are hundreds of thousands of heroin abusers struggling with their addiction in the United States alone.

Though heroin can be taken using a variety of methods, it is most commonly injected using a needle and syringe. This causes the drug to enter the bloodstream immediately, with the primary effects occurring within seconds. These effects generally include:

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxed muscles
  • Dry mouth
  • Flushed skin
  • Heaviness in the extremities
  • Sluggish movement
  • Clouded thoughts

These effects usually last for about an hour when the drug has been snorted or smoked, but they can last for two hours or more via injection. Once the desired effects of a heroin high have worn off, the after-effects begin. This is what can be described as “coming down” from the initial high. These effects can include drowsiness that lasts for hours, clouded mental function, slowed heart rate, and slowed breathing. In some cases, the slowing of breathing and heart rate can even be life-threatening. Additionally, long-term heroin abuse can cause various health conditions ranging from kidney disease and infertility.

However, the dangers of heroin are most often tied with the amount that is taken, as well as any additional substances that are used to “cut” the drug. Drug dealers often cut heroin with other substances so that they can use less pure heroin and make more money in the process. Some of the most common substances cut with heroin include:

  • Baking soda
  • Sugar
  • Starch
  • Crushed painkillers
  • Talcum powder
  • Powdered milk
  • Laundry detergent
  • Caffeine
  • Rat poison

Naturally, some of these substances will not cause any additional harm. However, if you are repeatedly putting rat poison or laundry detergent into your body, you could face life-threatening consequences. Even one time with enough toxic substances in your bloodstream could be enough to end your life.

What Does Heroin Look Like?

One of the reasons that heroin can be cut with so many different products and substances is that it can have different appearances. You might have heard of white heroin, which looks like a white powder, as well as black heroin, which is usually a brown powder. Additionally, there is black tar heroin which resembles a dark, sticky substance.

Physical Signs Of Heroin Use

If you are worried about someone you love getting addicted to heroin, the physical signs and symptoms are some of the most important factors to monitor. Since heroin is illegal and dangerous, most abusers will attempt to hide their addiction, you will need to be keenly aware of the signs of someone using heroin. Also, you should keep in mind that these signs can vary depending on the intake method. For example, someone who is snorting or smoking heroin will not have all of the same physical symptoms as someone who is injecting the drug. In any case, here are some of the most common physical signs to look out for:

  • Weight loss
  • Scabs or bruises
  • Slurred speech
  • Shortness of breath
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Dry mouth
  • Poor hygiene
  • Track marks on arms and legs
  • Flushed skin
  • Constricted pupils

Other Signs Of Heroin Use

Naturally, heroin does not just affect the body. It also has a major effect on the brain. This means that there are various behavioral signs associated with heroin abuse. Here are some of the most common behavioral changes in someone who is using heroin:

  • Depression
  • Euphoria (temporary)
  • Severe mood swings
  • Anxiety or paranoia
  • Hostility
  • Irritability
  • Lying
  • Social isolation
  • Disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Scratching at skin
  • Hyperactivity followed by exhaustion
  • Inability to fulfill responsibilities at work, school, or home
  • Increased sleeping
  • Apathy or lack of motivation

However, even if you are looking for physical and behavioral signs of heroin use, you could still miss something. For this reason, it is a good idea to learn about some of the street names and the use of slang terms associated with heroin. If you notice any of these names coming up in a strange context, it could mean that someone you know is trying to discretely talk about heroin:

  • A-Bomb
  • Antifreeze
  • Aunt Hazel
  • Ballot
  • Basketball
  • Beast
  • Big Bag
  • Big H
  • Big Harry
  • Black
  • Black Eagle
  • Black Pearl
  • Black Sheep
  • Black Stuff
  • Black Tar
  • Blue Hero
  • Bombs Away
  • Bonita
  • Boy
  • Bozo
  • Brick Gum
  • Brown
  • Brown Crystal
  • Brown Sugar
  • Brown Tape
  • Brown Rhine
  • Burrito
  • Butter
  • Capital H
  • Charlie
  • Charlie Horse
  • Chiba
  • China White
  • Chinese Red
  • Chiva
  • Dead On Arrival
  • Diesel
  • Dirt
  • Dope
  • Dragon
  • Fairy Dust
  • Flea Powder
  • Galloping Horse
  • George Smack
  • Golden Girl
  • H
  • Hairy
  • Hard Candy
  • Hard One
  • Harry
  • Hazel
  • Heavy
  • Helen
  • Helicopter
  • Hell Dust
  • Henry
  • Hera
  • Hercules
  • Hero
  • Hombre
  • Horse
  • Joy Flakes
  • Junk
  • Lifesaver
  • Mexican Brown
  • Mexican Horse
  • Mexican Mud
  • Morena
  • Mud
  • Nice And Easy
  • Noise
  • Number 3
  • Number 4
  • Number 8
  • Old Steve
  • Rambo
  • Red Chicken
  • Red Eagle
  • Reindeer Dust
  • Sack
  • Salt
  • Scag
  • Scat
  • Skag
  • Skunk
  • Smack
  • Snow
  • Snowball
  • Spider Blue
  • Tar
  • Thunder
  • Tootsie Roll
  • White Boy
  • White Horse
  • White Girl
  • White Lady
  • White Nurse
  • White Stuff

How To Get Help For A Heroin Addiction

It is never easy to admit that you or someone you care about has an addiction, especially to something as dangerous as heroin. However, your approach to getting help is important. You cannot simply shame someone into getting better. Instead, you should approach heroin addiction with great care and empathy. Fortunately, if you opt for a high-quality drug rehab or residential drug treatment program, you greatly increase the chances of helping your loved one kick the habit for good. If you start to notice any of the possible heroin addiction symptoms mentioned in this guide, you should consider seeking out the help of experts at a quality drug rehabilitation center like Prosperity Haven.

Is your child, friend, coworker, parent, or spouse struggling with heroin addiction? Are you looking for drug rehab options that target each patient’s specific needs? Finally, are you looking for a comprehensive heroin rehab center that provides a wide range of effective treatment options? If so, feel free to contact the experts at Prosperity Haven to learn more.


Take the First Step and Reach Out Today