The opioid epidemic covers a lot of different drugs, including heroin. Heroin induces a euphoric feeling when injected, snorted, or smoked. Like other opioids, a person runs a very high risk of overdosing the longer they use. Recognizing the physical signs of heroin use gives you a better chance of helping someone before that happens.
Track marks are probably the most widely talked about of the physical signs of heroin use. You typically see them at a person’s elbows, but they can also turn up on the legs or feet. In most cases, it’s either a row of scars from old injections or irritated injection sites from recent use.
Regular heroin users will often inject the heroin with any needle they can find at whatever place is most convenient. That makes it’s much more likely they’ll contract HIV/AIDS or a run of the mill infection from other contaminants. Long terms users often suffer abscesses at the injection site that should get treated by a medical pro.
Another one of the physical signs of heroin use you’ll see is serious weight loss. The euphoria from heroin hides body signals like hunger. That means many heroin users eat infrequently.
A less reliable symptom you often see among heroin users is a runny nose. Since everything from colds to allergies can trigger a runny nose, you should consider a secondary symptom.
A strange cycle of drowsiness and alertness also serves as one of the physical signs of heroin use. After a person takes heroin, they show serious drowsiness for hours. This transitions into a high level of alertness when the heroin wears off.
Seeking Treatment for Signs of Heroin Use
With so many risks associated with heroin use, the faster someone enters treatment the better their odds of avoiding the worst outcomes. Most people seek treatment in a rehab program. Rehab centers strongly recommend inpatient programs at partner facilities for heroin users because of the higher success rate.
Rehab programs can use multiple therapies to help a person work through the initial steps of recovery. Some of the more widely used rehab therapies include:
Dual diagnosis treatment addresses both the mental health and substance abuse issues of an individual. It is based on the idea that psychiatric disorders and substance use are often connected, so both need to be treated for successful recovery.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy used to help individuals with substance use disorders and other mental health conditions. CBT helps individuals learn coping skills and develop healthy habits that can lead to long-term recovery.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that helps individuals learn to manage difficult or intense emotions in an effective way.
Trauma therapy treats individuals who have experienced a traumatic event, such as abuse or neglect. It helps individuals process and make sense of their experiences in a safe environment.
Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy where individuals with similar experiences come together to learn and support one another. It can be beneficial for individuals with heroin addiction, as it can provide a safe, supportive environment to share experiences and learn from other’s stories.
Family therapy focuses on the relationships between family members. It can be beneficial for individuals with heroin addiction, as it helps family members improve communication, understand the addiction better, and learn how to support their loved one in recovery.
12-step facilitation is an evidence-based treatment model that helps individuals follow the principles of 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. This treatment model focuses on helping individuals develop spiritual and emotional awareness, make amends for past wrongs, and build support systems.
BoardPrep Recovery Center®
BoardPrep Recovery Center® is a heroin addiction treatment center in Tampa, FL. We strive to create a personalized treatment program while maintaining a superior level of care.
If you struggle with heroin use, you can still change your story. With help from a rehab center that offers heroin addiction treatment, you can get your recovery started. Call BoardPrep at 866.796.4720 and find out if our treatment program is the right answer for you.