Suspecting someone you love uses heroin is a painful situation for anyone. We all know about the dangers of these drugs. But what are the physical signs of heroin abuse and how else can you detect the truths of your loved one’s behaviors?

About Heroin Abuse

Heroin, also called diamorphine, is a recreational drug used around the world. Few, if any, cities or towns in the United States remain unaffected by this powerful drug. All too many communities struggle with what we call the opioid epidemic and its consequences of addiction, life damage, and death.

For people who take heroin, the physical signs of heroin abuse feel overwhelmingly positive. Heroin affects the opioid receptors of the brain, reducing the feelings of pain and providing a soothing and euphoric high. Because of the draw of positive heroin use effects against the negative effects of heroin abuse, stopping heroin use feels overwhelming. You also find yourself trapped by withdrawal symptoms, making a California addiction treatment center the only way out.

Physical Signs of Heroin Abuse

People using heroin show physical signs of heroin abuse. If you look closely, you see these heroin use effects. They include:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Sleepiness
  • Slow movement
  • Injection marks
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Nodding out

You first notice pinpoint pupils and sleepiness, before other physical signs of heroin abuse. You start seeing the person you love moving more slowly than usual. They take a long time to complete tasks and fail to fulfill their responsibilities. They probably also nod out to sleep or unconsciousness while talking to you, eating or sitting up. These effects in daily life can cause occurring disorders that negatively effect you mental health wil likely need treatment from a CA dual diagnosis treatment center

As you start connecting these signs, other negative effects of heroin abuse start making sense, too. You see track marks on their body, notice poor hygiene, and pick up on withdrawal symptoms they suffer when they do not use their drug.

Items Used in Heroin Abuse

Items used to abuse heroin fall into the category of paraphernalia. You can find some of these items in your loved one’s bedroom, bathroom, personal effects, or car. What you find depends on how they use their drug, such as by injection, smoking or snorting.

People who inject heroin keep syringes, needles, a metal spoon, cotton balls, and belts or large rubber bands. Smoking heroin involves glass pipes, spoons, tin foil, cigarette lighters, butane lighters, and straws. When snorting heroin, many people use mirrors, flat surfaces like tables, razor blades, or credit cards to create “lines” and straws or rolled up dollar bills.

Help for Heroin Addiction

Loving someone with a heroin problem hurts your heart, as much as it destroys their life. But you can help them fight their addiction and achieve the recovery they deserve. Programs to look for include:

Addiction is a chronic disease. Managing a chronic disease does not end just because its most debilitating symptoms have been treated. Entering rehab can be scary, but it can also be scary to leave rehab and re-enter society. Sober living is a lifestyle, and it will take some getting used to. You’ve done all the hard work and made it to recovery, so what’s next? There are life skills and specific strategies that can help you stay sober after rehab. 

What Does life After Rehab Look Like?

Yes, life does go on after rehab. Your addiction treatment program is just the beginning. It has provided you with the foundation you need for staying sober. Living life as a sober person happens day by day, putting one foot in front of the other. Living fully in the now is a great way to view your recovery. If you can develop that mindset and embrace the California Substance Abuse program that sustains you in your recovery, you will find you are indeed walking your path. And even receive post treatment support and relapse prevention training.

To remain sober after rehab, you have to have strategies and tools to help you to cope with the complications life puts in your path. This could include things like exposure to violence and unresolved trauma. You need to stay on the path to sobriety by confronting these problems in a mindful, supportive, comfortable environment. Remind yourself each day why you do the work, why you committed to this process in the first place, and why you are grateful.

There are a number of strategies and skills that help people in recovery supported by an aftercare team. Some helpful tips for managing your sobriety after rehab include:

  • Find a support group. Whether it’s Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or another program, 12-step or otherwise, be sure that you have a place to go when you are worried about your sobriety, need support in your journey, or could use a friendly place to land. Never underestimate the power of other people who personally understand your lived experience.
  • Set achievable daily goals for yourself, like connecting with a supportive friend, doing a healthy workout or yoga routine, or logging enough hours of sleep.  
  • Create a schedule. Having goals is great, but setting up a schedule so you can remind yourself and track your progress is just as important. Use a schedule to avoid both boredom (too little to occupy you) or stress (overwhelming or anxiety-producing work or life commitments).
  • Pursue sober relationships. It can be challenging to disengage with friends you made while using, but actively engaging with people you know will have your back is an important part of sober living.
  • Recognize your triggers. As importantly, learn to avoid them. Whether it’s places, situations, or activities, if they put you at risk of relapse, steer clear.
  • Do good. There is compelling evidence that being of service to others enhances the quality of life, increases happiness, and supports health and wellness. Most 12-step programs include service to others as a key component of their program. You can serve meals at a soup kitchen, volunteer at an animal shelter, offer friendship and fellowship to nursing home residents, do mission work through your church, or whatever you find meaningful and inspiring.