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Four Signs of Heroin Use and Addiction

Home » Four Signs of Heroin Use and Addiction

Understanding drug addiction becomes more complicated because not all drugs are the same.  You may hear terms like opioids, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and more to describe the kinds of drugs that are used.  You may also hear different names for the same drug and terms for combining drugs. Once you get past what the drug is and what it might be called, it’s time to look for the signs that someone is on a particular drug. At Laguna View Detox, we can help you understand the different drugs and how to talk about them.  More importantly, we can help you or your loved one find a way to be free of them. 

Heroin Explained

Heroin is classified as an opioid drug and is made from morphine. Heroin can be found in more than one form.  Often a white or brown powder, heroin can also be found as a black sticky substance, referred to as black tar heroin.  Heroin has many street names including big H, smack, thunder, hell dust, and horse. Heroin can be injected, smoked, sniffed, or snorted.  It can also be mixed with crack cocaine, which is known as speedballing. 


Four Signs of Heroin Use and Addiction

Heroin is a highly addictive drug and it can be heartbreaking to watch someone you love suffer through heroin addiction.  Using heroin can give someone a feeling of comfort and happiness while also making it feel like the world has slowed down.  Four signs that someone is using heroin include:


  • Very small pupils
  • Needle marks on the skin where the heroin was injected
  • Vomiting
  • Itchiness


As heroin wears off, the person might have pain in their muscles or bones, get the chills, suffer from insomnia, and be nervous.  Because coming down off of heroin is so unpleasant, users will often seek more heroin to feel better.  As more heroin is used, the user will develop a higher tolerance which will lead to the need for more heroin to feel better.  While the body becomes more dependent on heroin, the individual will find that they need to use heroin just to feel normal or not sick. At the same time, the brain is changed by using heroin. All of this adds up to increasing difficulty in quitting heroin and a vicious cycle of needing more and more of the drug to feel normal. You may notice that your loved one just looks less healthy and is much moodier. 

Heroin Overdose

Because of heroin’s effects on breathing, many people die from heroin overdoses.  Heroin overdoses happen because the strength of the drug isn’t known until it is consumed.  Overdoses also happen because individuals might start to use more and more heroin as their addiction progresses. Signs of a heroin overdose include slowed breathing, failing to wake up, slow or stopped heartbeat, inability to speak, and blue lips. If you see the signs of a heroin overdose in your loved one, call 911 immediately. Many times overdoses can successfully be treated with naloxone (Narcan) if it is given quickly enough. 

Get Help Today at Laguna View Detox

At Laguna View Detox, you will get round the clock holistic care for your addiction.  We are one of the leading drug rehab centers in California. We provide luxurious, individualized inpatient rehab treatment in one of the most beautiful areas in Southern California. We remain dedicated to helping you detox safely and seeing you succeed by providing you with the care you need while you’re with us and setting you up for success with our aftercare. Contact us today and let us help you with your addiction!  

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