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5 signs of heroin addiction


Heroin addiction is a medical condition that refers to both a physical dependence and an inability to stop using despite a desire to do so.

There are distinctly different signs between heroin use and heroin abuse; it is important to note that there is a difference between heroin use and heroin addiction.

The term heroin use refers to immediate signs of intoxication.

Signs of heroin use: itchiness, nausea/vomiting, pinned pupils, dopiness/nodding out, irritability, whiney aspect to voice and speech patterns.

The term addiction refers to long-term dependence and abuse of heroin.

Signs of Heroin Addiction : Changes in physical appearance

  • Rapid/extreme weight loss:
  • Scabs from scratching and picking at skin
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Decreasing attention to hygiene and physical appearance
  • Wearing long pants or long sleeves to hide needle marks, even in very warm weather

Signs of Heroin Addiction : Financial troubles

  • Repeatedly stealing or borrowing money from loved ones
  • Unexplained absence of valuables

Signs of Heroin Addiction: Behavioral and personality shifts

  • Withdrawal from friends and family, instead spending time with new friends with no natural tie
  • Lack of interest in hobbies and favorite activities
  • Hostile behaviors toward loved ones, including blaming them for withdrawal or broken commitments
  • Substantial increases in time spent sleeping
  • Lying or other deceptive behavior
  • Avoiding eye contact, or distant field of vision

Signs of Heroin Addiction: Loss of motivation and apathy toward future goals

  • Sudden worsening of performance in school or work, including expulsion or loss of jobs
  • Lack of interest in hobbies and favorite activities

Signs of Heroin Addiction: Physical signs of use/abuse and/or paraphernalia

  • Needles or syringes not used for other medical purposes
  • Burned silver spoons
  • Aluminum foil or gum wrappers with burn marks
  • Missing shoelaces (used as a tie off for injection sites)
  • Straws with burn marks
  • Small plastic bags, with  white powdery residue
  • Water pipes or other pipe


When someone is suffering from a heroin addiction, s/he is not merely addicted to the substance for its inherent addictive chemical components. Addiction is much more than that: it is a three-fold disease involving a physical allergy, mental obsession, and spiritual emptiness.

This was a real eye-opener for me. I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder while in active addiction and completely believed that my heroin addiction was solely a symptom of my bipolar disorder. I thought that I used heroin because my mental illness was not being successfully managed. I also thought, “Well of course I am addicted to heroin; it is a highly addictive substance and if I stop using I will go through withdrawals.” I didn’t realize at the time that I was an addict and that I continued to use heroin because I have what is medically known as an addiction.

Heroin addiction is a serious condition that leads to devastating financial, legal, and physical and mental health consequences. Furthermore, heroin addiction is detrimental to interpersonal relationships. The addicted person’s family and loved ones suffer along with the addict. Despite the devastating effects, the person struggling with a heroin addiction will continue to use until s/he is ready to make a change. While in the grip of addiction, it is difficult to imagine life without heroin.

If your loved one is in need of treatment for heroin addiction, please give us a call at 800-951-6135



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