Seeing Past the Secrets: Recognizing Heroin Addiction Signs
Authored by Audra Franchini
Drug Addiction Recovery for Friends of Heroin Addicts
Would you recognize the signs of heroin addiction or other substance abuse in your friend or love done?
The inherent secrecy of heroin use is one of the most challenging aspects of detecting a friend’s heroin addiction. In order for the user to keep up appearances and remain in control of their drug use, they keep their heroin addiction signs hidden and out of view. Addicted patients have trouble keeping healthy relationships due to the lies they need to tell in order to continue using. As difficult as it is, try to maintain your friendship as you seek the signs of your friend’s addiction. Your friendship, care, and concern can make the difference in their drug addiction recovery and their path to recovery.
While there are many visible signs of heroin use, all can be concealed in one way or another. You might look for paraphernalia—syringes, baggies, glass or metal pipes, burnt spoons—and never find them, but don’t beat yourself up. Instead, look for changes in appearance and behavior which may be harder to conceal. You may notice some of the fast-acting symptoms of heroin use. Symptoms may include, for example, tiny pupils, sleepy eyes, flushed skin, and runny nose. Make note if your friend complains of constipation or diarrhea or vomiting and suggest that they see a doctor. A dirty, unkempt appearance and neglect of hygiene are noticeable heroin addiction signs as users may lose track of their personal grooming as a part of the disease of substance use disorder.
When conversing with your friend, listen for the truth behind their excuses. Why do they spend a lot of time sleeping? If you’ve noticed your friend’s increased absence, ask where they have been. Who are they spending their time with and why do they need to borrow more money? It is critical to not believe excuses and lies. Instead, continue to help your friend acknowledge the truth of their risky, dangerous situation.
What To Do If You Notice Heroin Addiction Signs
Educating yourself is one of the best first steps you can take if you are worried about potential substance abuse in a friend. Remember, some heroin users may ask for help for their addiction, the majority are fearful and avoidant.
Many patients struggling with substance use disorder receive drug addiction recovery because of intervention of family and friends. If you have noticed signs of heroin use in your friend, you do not need to confront them immediately, but first, enlist the help of an interventionist.
Interventionists work on-site or in our patient’s home and manage all aspects of the intervention process, help to prepare family and friends, and lead the discussion and facilitation of the intervention. An interventionist is also responsible for performing a brief clinical assessment, discussing treatment options and financial considerations, and accompanying patients to their treatment program if desired.
At Lighthouse, we can provide expert intervention services to help guide your friend toward the first step in recovery. If you find yourself seeing past the secrets and recognizing your friend’s addiction to heroin, contact us today for drug addiction recovery at 1-800-RECOVERY.