It’s scary to think that your spouse, friend, teen or loved one of any kind could be hiding a problem with drugs. It’s even worse when you’re not sure where to turn for help. If you believe your loved one may be hiding a substance abuse problem, Rosecrance is here to help.
Talk to them, look for these signs of a potential heroin addiction, and please consider calling Rosecrance toll-free at (866) 330-8729 to get hope for lasting recovery for your loved one.
1. Hidden entry points or track marks
Heroin is often taken intravenously—injected into the veins with a syringe. As this is typically done in the arms, entry points (known as track marks) are likely to appear here.
Most people suffering from a heroin addiction will attempt to hide these marks from their families, coworkers, and friends. That means someone using heroin may be likely to cover their arms year-round, regardless of temperature.
2. Alternating between hyper-alertness and exhaustion
One common physical symptom of heroin use is hyper-alertness. Heroin users may become extremely focused one moment—and then fall into exhaustion shortly after. Heroin use is often marked by extreme alertness or jitteriness, but your loved one may nod off moments later.
3. Changes in physical appearance
Many friends or family members notice a problem when their loved one begins to rapidly lose weight from heroin use. They may appear to be sick or have a runny nose often and their pupils might constantly look dilated. In addition to track marks, they may bruise easily and even frequently pick at their own skin.
4. Declining performance at work or school
Adults who use drugs may be less likely to care about normal activities—including their performance at work or college. Drug abuse may interfere with their ability to focus or show up at all. Adults who struggle with heroin use can have frequent truancies and are unlikely to prioritize their professional performance.
5. Lack of motivation or interest in activities
Drug use can take a serious toll on anyone’s mental health. Work or school isn’t the only thing that falls by the wayside when adults become addicted to heroin. Many lose interest even in the activities they once loved or become withdrawn from activities with friends and family members.
6. Deceptive behavior
People who use heroin may begin to lie, steal, or hide things from their loved ones. They may frequently borrow money or even take money from family members. Moreover, some may become involved in criminal activities, facing trouble with the law.
7. Hidden paraphernalia
A final sign to look for in a wife, husband, friend, parent or teen who hides a heroin addiction is hidden paraphernalia. Heroin users could go to extreme lengths to hide paraphernalia, or they may keep it in plain sight if they assume you don’t know what to search for. Look for spoons, aluminum foil, or even discarded gum wrappers with burn marks. In addition to needles and pipes, look for remnants of the drug like small plastic baggies and anything that could be used to tie off the arm (like a shoelace).
Rosecrance is here for loved ones struggling with drug and alcohol use and their families. For resources, guidance, and treatment, contact Rosecrance at (866) 330-8729 to get on the path to recovery today.