Signs of Heroin Use & Addiction

Heroin addiction has resulted in many lives cut short because of overdose deaths, not to mention the spiraling destruction of quality of life and relationships. Because of the highly addictive potential of heroin, there is a slippery slope between recreational use and heroin addiction or dependence.


When the brain becomes “rewired” from heroin use, it builds up a tolerance, requiring it necessary to consume more of the drug to get the same high. If there is a lapse in heroin use, symptoms of withdrawal may include:

Heroin addiction signs and symptoms of heroin use and heroin addiction man's hands are tied by addiction

• Headaches
• Tremors or shaking
• Muscle pain
• Sweating
• Stomach problems
• Cravings for drugs
• Panic attacks
• Insomnia
• Aggression
• Anxiety
• Goosebumps

Withdrawal symptoms range in accordance to how dependent the brain is on heroin. This is based on the length of time of heroin addiction, how it was abused, and how much heroin was taken each time. A person suffering from heroin use may feel that they just can’t quit because they have experienced these withdrawal symptoms and they can be severe. Therefore they start using again because they aren’t able to fight on their own the cravings for heroin and the withdrawal symptoms. Medication-assisted treatment is the best way to rid the body of heroin and reduce cravings, giving a better chance to avoid relapse.


Heroin addiction or abuse can cause many behavioral changes in a user’s life that can be identified. A person in general may have a shift in their attitude, appearance, and habits. Some other signs include:

• Avoiding family and friends that don’t use drugs
• Unexpected mood changes
• Not meeting responsibilities of school, work, family
• Financial problems
• Lying constantly to family and friends (to avoid being caught using heroin)
• Loss of interest in hobbies and passions
• Stealing items or money to pay for heroin
• Poor hygiene
• Weight fluctuations
• Violent or aggressive behavior
• Track marks or wearing long sleeve shirts in the summer


If you are recognizing these signs in yourself, get help now. It is imperative to receive help because the longer the use, the increasingly larger dose of heroin needed to get the same heroin high. Today is the best day to get on the road to recovery!

If you are concerned because you are seeing these signs from someone close to you, it is important to have a conversation with your loved one. Don’t be shocked if you receive denial or anger from them and they may even bring it back that you are the crazy or paranoid one. If you have something concrete that you can identify as far as track marks, or drug paraphernalia such as: balloons, baggies, pipes, spoons that are bent or burned at the bottom, needles, or syringes in their possession, these indicate heroin misuse and it may be more difficult for your loved one to deny. It is important for them to get help because one large hit can cause an overdose resulting in death.

Heroin addiction is a serious medical disease that only a drug addiction rehabilitation facility can treat. With heroin addiction, it is important to go through medication-assisted detox, and receive drug rehab counseling and support. With the proper treatment and support, a clean and sober life is possible for those struggling with heroin. Contact AMC and start the drug rehab admissions process today!

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