The opioid crisis in America is becoming increasingly difficult to handle. Opiates are powerful drugs that act on opioid receptors in the brain, producing feelings of pain relief and anesthesia. However, they are addictive and are also used recreationally to produce feelings of warmth and euphoria. Among these opiates is heroin, a powerful drug that can destroy lives through addiction, dependence, and withdrawal. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of heroin use, so you can help loved ones get the treatment they need to get clean.
Side Effects of Heroin
Heroin is a potent opioid that has legitimate pharmaceutical uses in pain relief during childbirth and end-of-life care. However, it is a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance in the United States due to its high addictiveness and dangerous nature.
Individuals using heroin recreationally do so for the “rush” and the ensuing “high,” which constitutes a blissful, euphoric and apathetic state. However, it has numerous side effects that can cause the user to have major, dramatic shifts in all aspects of their life. Due to their dependence on the drug, users will continue to use it even if they have to steal, lie, or cheat to get it. They may experience financial problems, trouble at work or school, and destroy relationships with loved ones, friends, and family. Over time, they may begin to neglect their appearance and not get enough sleep. They may even contract blood-borne diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, or Tuberculosis from using contaminated needles or paraphernalia.
In the worst cases, heroin use can result in suicide or death via overdose.
Addiction Symptoms and Signs of Heroin Use
Some signs of heroin use include:
- Sudden behavioral changes. This can be minor but often can progress towards losing interest in previously pursued hobbies or life goals and not concentrating on work/school. The addict gradually begins to turn away from family and friends due to disgust or shame at themselves.
- Small pupils. Heroin use causes the pupils to contract and become “pinpoint.”
- Wearing long garments. Even in hot weather, heroin users may wear long-sleeved shirts or long pants to hide track marks from needle use.
- Loss of responsibility. The addict no longer prioritizes anything but seeking the drug and avoiding withdrawal. This can show in their work/educational life or by apathy towards family/social obligations.
- Deceptive behavior. Lying, stealing, and participating in illegal activities can signify that users are trying to pay for their drug habit.
- Severe itching. A heroin user will seem to be very itchy.
- Anger. This may come in the form of irritability or seemingly unprovoked hostility towards people.
- Structuring life around drug use. An addicted heroin user prioritizes acquiring and using the drug over all else.
- Restlessness. This might also be coupled with periods of high or hyper-alertness.
- Sleeplessness. The user may have a disrupted sleep schedule with bouts of insomnia or a tendency to nod off at inappropriate times suddenly.
- Dry mouth, nausea, vomiting.
Conclusion: How To Treat Heroin Addiction
The best way to treat an addictive disorder to any opiates is through medication-assisted therapy. Doctors use a drug specifically designed to ease withdrawal symptoms, combined with behavioral and psychological therapy.
At Genesis Pain Clinic, we’re proud to be practitioners of the highest standard of interventional pain management.
Our Suboxone medication-assisted treatment plan is the gold standard of care for treating opioid disorders. We offer diagnostic testing and regenerative medicine, with the mission to allow all our patients to live healthy, pain-free lives. Please give us a call if you have any questions at (913) 871-9888.
We’re proud to offer the best suboxone treatment in Kansas, and we look forward to helping you.