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Symptoms of Heroin Use & Signs of Heroin Addiction
Are you wondering if your friend or even family member is addicted to heroin? If you are looking for some signs of heroin addiction then here is a list you can use.

Physical signs of heroin addiction:
  • Bent spoons with burn marks on them (from smoking heroin)
  • Scars or bruises (from itching or scratching)
  • Hypodermic needles and syringes (for shooting up heroin)
  • Rubber tubing or long lengths of plastic (for "tying off" the arms or legs to make veins fill with blood)
  • Track marks (lines of little dots or holes along a vein - usually on the arms)
  • Wearing long sleeve clothing even in the hottest of weather (used to hide track marks)
  • Empty paper bindles, glassine envelopes, and small balloons (this is how it is generally packaged)
  • Folded and burned pieces of tin foil (used for smoking heroin)
Emotional signs of heroin addiction:
  • Periods of extreme euphoria followed by extreme depression
  • Sedated appearance
  • Unkempt appearance<
  • Dramatic weight loss

The Heroin Kit
Signs of heroin addiction can include the things the user was need for ingesting the drug often referred to as a heroin “kit”. The presence of these items could indicate that someone you love is using heroin: long lengths of plastic or rubber (used to “tie off” an arm before an injection), syringes, glass pipes hypodermic needles, cotton balls (these are sometimes used to strain the drug), dirty bent spoons, folded tin foil or bottle caps (these are used liquefying the heroin)

Everyday Symptoms
Signs of short-term heroin abuse normally result in some obvious physical symptoms, like dry mouth, vomiting and nausea, difficulties with mental processing and speech, as well as a slower respiratory rate. People take heroin because it causes a sudden feeling of euphoria (including release from any physical pain), which all but ceases the mind and body's capability to operate properly. After the euphoric quick rush ends, users often begin to feel sick because their body is trying to reject the heroin. Many times, users in this state are simply unable to clearly think straight or even engage in any coherent conversation with another person.

Typically those who are using heroin will no longer care about performing normal grooming tasks like fixing their hair or brushing their teeth. Addicts also will generally eat much less than normal, causing them to lose weight and to look prematurely aged. In the advanced stages of addiction, you will notice a "wasting effect" similar to someone who is starving or is chronically ill.

Teens that are heroin users will frequently display anger, irritability, dramatic mood swings and unusual sleeping patterns. While many parents would argue that this describes a normal teenager, parents need to acutely aware of changes in these patterns that would indicate something out of the norm. Often time, teen heroin use is predicated by an abuse of tobacco, marijuana and alcohol. Finally, it is also common for a teen to become addicted to prescription pain killers and then to later switch to heroin.

Overdose Symptoms & Withdrawl Symptoms
Signs of heroin overdose may include low blood pressure, weak pulse, dilated pupils, labored or shallow breathing, weak and rapid pulse, clammy skin, dry mouth, convulsions, paradoxical excitement and insomnia, loss of consciousness (coma), and potentially death. If you suspect an overdose of heroin has occurred, call 911 immediately! Someone who has overdosed on heroin will not respond to a slap in the face or to even being shaken. Do not dump water on their face because there is a very real chance that the addict could drown - yes even in a small puddle.

Physical signs of heroin addiction will occur when a person stops using heroin and begins to enter withdrawal. Approximately 6 to 24 hours after an addict's last use, heroin withdrawal symptoms will begin to manifest. The timeframe will vary depending on the size of the last dose consumed and the addict's level of dependency on the drug. Without medication, the symptoms typically peak 48 hours after the last use of the drug and can last up to 10 days. Symptoms often include: depression, priapism, nausea and vomiting, restless or itchy legs, general feeling of heaviness, malaise, anxiety, cramp-like pains in the limbs, cold sweats, chills, sweating, extra yawning or sneezing, sleep difficulties like insomnia, diarrhea, cramps, tears, rhinorrhea, excessive bone and muscle aches, genital extra sensitivity in females, and fever. Although it is rare, chronic users who stop using cold turkey are at the greatest risk of dying during withdrawal, since their body has developed a real dependency for the drug which is why medical supervision is always advised when trying to break a heroin addiction.

Many of the symptoms of heroin withdrawal are a result of the rebounding hyperactivity in the sympathetic nervous system. Sometimes this hyperactivity can be reduced with clonidine commonly known as Catapres, which is mostly used to treat hypertension. One common symptom with abrupt termination of the drug is referred to as "restless legs", which are actually muscle spasms and this symptom can be relieved with the use of baclofen which is a muscle relaxant. Diarrhea is easily treated with the opioid drug loperamide. Often times users also experience a painful condition, nicknamed "itchy blood", whereby the users persist in compulsive scratching which sometimes tears the skin and leaves scabs or bruises.

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