Opioid fatalities have been on the rise for years now, and heroin is among the most lethal opiates to abuse. If you’re worried that someone close to you could be abusing heroin, you should be. Their addiction could kill them at any time and will have life-long implications even after detoxing. Know the signs of heroin addiction, and if you see them in someone in Tennessee, push them to seek out an alternative opioid addiction program before it’s too late.
The Symptoms of Heroin Addiction
Heroin shares many of its symptoms with other opioids, giving users a relaxing, euphoric rush. However, that momentary pleasure comes with a steep set of complications and a chance of fatality. If you recognize these symptoms in someone you suspect of heroin abuse, they could be addicted.
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Depression and paranoia
- Nausea, constipation, and vomiting
- Excessive itchiness
- Apathy and lack of emotion
- Flushed, hot skin and dry mouth
- Excessive drowsiness and tendency to nod off
- Slow breathing and sluggish, heavy motions
- Bloodshot eyes and constricted pupils
- Secretive behavior and financial hardship
- Visible needle marks
Most of these symptoms are uncomfortable at worst; overdose, on the other hand, is a very real, pressing, and life-threatening concern for any addict. Heroin is a respiratory depressant, meaning that it slows your lung functions—take too much and you’ll stop breathing altogether, passing out or suffocating to death. Chronic heroin abuse also increases an individual’s risk of contracting diseases, experiencing organ failure, and committing suicide.
Why People Stay Addicted
The symptoms of heroin abuse are undoubtedly unpleasant, and with the spread of drug education, many people are aware of the implications addiction has for their life. So if opioid abuse is so bad, why don’t addicts stop? The answer is simple: most addicts don’t have full control of their body and mind anymore.
Dual diagnosis is extremely common, as over half of addicts are diagnosed with substance-induced mental disorders as well as independent mental health issues. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other mental diseases can fuel addiction, pushing an abuser to seek out the apathy or euphoria that heroin can bring. However, opiate addictions aggravate mental health issues in turn, altering brain chemistry and ruining the lives of users—this causes a vicious cycle that few can break out of alone. Because their struggle is as much a mental one as physical, heroin addicts usually do best in residential treatment alternative programs where they can get constant support and oversight.
How To Help A Heroin Abuser
If someone you know is abusing heroin, don’t let them suffer in silence. Confront them and get help as soon as possible. Convincing an addict that they have a problem and need treatment can be a challenge, but it’s one that you don’t have to undergo alone—you can call Discovery Place at any time of day at 1-800-725-0922 to talk about treatment options and how you should approach what will likely be a difficult, stressful discussion. Many addicts are especially worried about a painful withdrawal caused by their physical dependence on opioids, but the process is necessary and pales in comparison to a (significantly shortened) life of addiction. Replacement therapy and strong support during a treatment & rehab alternative program in Tennessee can minimize discomfort greatly, but some pain is inevitable.