Signs of Heroin Addiction

If you suspect a friend or family member of using heroin, there are many signs you can check for.

When a person is addicted to heroin, their brain is affected in various ways, and their reaction time slows down, their memory is affected and the way in which they think and make decisions is also affected. In the body, they can catch diseases such as HIV and hepatitis from using needles that other infected people have used, and you can look for signs of these diseases in their bodies.

The Drug and How It’s Used

heroin addiction signs and symptomsPure heroin is a white, powdery substance that can contain other things like glucose or talcum powder. When it is impure (containing substances other than pure heroin), it is usually a brown powder and has caffeine mixed in with it. Heroin usually is wrapped in small plastic baggies or packages, so you can look for these if you suspect someone of using heroin. Because it can be injected, smoked, snorted or inhaled, there are other devices that you can look for as well. Needles are very common for heroin addicts to use, so discarded needles or abnormally large amounts of needles can be a sign of heroin addiction. Additionally, razor blades, straws, pipes and rolled up pieces of paper are also used in the preparation and ingestion/injection of heroin.

The Signs of Heroin Addiction

Do you know what to look for in the behavior of someone who you suspect of being addicted to heroin? There are many signs, and a lot of them have to do with the person’s behavior and appearance.

Here are some of the more common signs.

  • Alternating between sleepiness and alertness
  • Shallow breathing
  • Injection sites and/or infections
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Small pupils
  • A “lost” appearance in the eyes
  • Little motivation
  • Spending time with a different social circle
  • Disorientation
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Poor memory
  • Acting as though extremities are heavy and droopy
  • No interest in the future
  • Poor self-image and/or no upkeep of self

There are a number of issues that can result in these behavioral changes, and heroin addiction is one of them. If you see these signs in a person, you should follow up to determine their root cause.

Heroin Addiction Treatment


treatment at The Canyon Rehabilitation Facility At The Canyon, the heroin treatment program was created to help you develop a positive relationship with yourself. Using a variety of traditional and nontraditional methods, therapies and experiences, you will be given the opportunity to take back your dreams and goals, as well as to awaken your authentic relationship with life. Each patient’s treatment program is unique, and therapists can use treatments such as equine-assisted psychotherapy, psychodrama and adventure/ropes courses to help patients achieve freedom from their heroin addictions.

Breaking the cycle of addiction is both mental and physical, and The Canyon has the resources and talent to help you achieve long-lasting abstinence from any addictions you may be suffering from. If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin abuse or addiction, contact us today.