What Is Heroin, And How Can You Spot Heroin Addiction?

Heroin addiction can’t always be identified at a glance. An addict’s family may think their behavior is just due to stress, tiredness, or social alcohol drinking. Often, even if the addict is confronted about their behavior, they will not admit that they have a problem.

Heroin is a drug that is not only illegal but extremely addictive. It starts out as opium from poppy plants, which is refined into morphine and is then chemically modified into heroin. Despite the drug’s well-known risks, heroin abuse continues to be widespread in the U.S.

Heroin comes in a number of forms, including a sticky black substance (tar heroin), solid black chunks, and white or brown powder. Depending on the form, heroin may be snorted, smoked, injected into muscle, or injected directly into the veins.

Statistics On Heroin Use

Regardless of how it is taken, heroin is potent and fast-acting. Also, since the strength of a street drug varies from batch to batch, there is a high risk of overdosing on heroin.

  • Heroin use has been on the rise since 2007, and as of 2012 there were about 669,000 heroin users in the U.S., according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).
  • The increase in usage is mainly among young adults aged 18-25.
  • The number of first-time users of heroin per year has increased at an alarming rate, from 90,000 in 2006 to 156,000 in 2012.
  • There has been a decrease in heroin use among teens aged 12-17.
  • Heroin use among 8th-, 10th- and 12th- graders in the U.S. was at less than 1 percent from 2005 to 2013, the lowest level since the Monitoring the Future survey started collecting data.

Physical & Behavioral Alterations

You might notice several different behavioral signs that your loved one has a substance abuse problem. Rapid mood swings, secretive behavior, angry or agitated reactions to the questioning, and increased social isolation maybe some of it. Also, abandonment of previous hobbies or pastimes, sudden alterations in their social circle, increased personal or legal troubles, and neglect of responsibilities at home, work, or school may also be present.

You may also notice some physical symptoms of heroin abuse, which includes fatigue, constricted pupils, mumbling speech, and scratching of skin. Problems with memory or attention span, sexual dysfunction, and injuries from heroin-related violence are also present in most patients.

Opening Up The Conversation

A difficult step in helping your loved one deal with heroin addiction is talking to them about the problem. A person struggling with addiction may respond to questions or conversations about drug use in several ways, such as becoming angry that you are “accusing” them of drug use.

Oftentimes, they are also noticed as denying that any problem exists and nonchalantly acknowledging that they do indeed use heroin. This third reaction is one of the most difficult to deal with because it often means that the addict will simply refuse to make any changes.

It is often difficult to start the conversation about heroin abuse, but a preventative intervention can help your loved one towards get the professional help they need.

Detox of South Florida is here to help you or your loved ones walk through Detox and Rehab and come out sober on the other side.

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