If you’ve recently become aware that a loved one is using heroin, or suspect they might be, it’s time to take action. It only takes using heroin one time for some people to become addicted. And like all other addictions, early detection and intervention is always the best strategy.
Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine, a natural substance taken from the seed pod of the various opium poppy plants. It can be a white or brown powder, or a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin.
Loved ones addicted to heroin will likely do their best to hide the habit from you. It’s important that you know what to look for when trying to identify a problem.
Heroin is a highly-addictive drug. People who regularly use heroin can quickly develop a tolerance (meaning they’ll need higher and more frequent doses of the drug to get the effects they’re looking for). This puts them at increased risk for an overdose.
When people overdose on heroin, their breathing often slows or even stops, potentially decreasing the amount of oxygen reaching the brain (a condition called hypoxia). This can have short- and long-term mental effects and effects on the nervous system, including coma and permanent brain damage.
Heroin deaths are on the rise and many victims are first-time users. Knowing how to handle an overdose can save someone’s life. A person who has overdosed on heroin can be unconscious, extremely drowsy, delirious or disoriented. They could have very small pupils, a dry mouth, discolored tongue and uncontrollable muscle movements. They may have a bluish tint to their lips, nails or skin and may be breathing shallowly or not at all. Call 911 immediately if you see any of these symptoms in your loved one.
If you think a loved one might be using heroin, get them the help they need. Dealing with a drug-addiction is not something you can do on your own—it’s a disease that needs to be treated. Our certified counselors will work with your loved one to help them choose the best program for their unique needs. Facing addiction alone can be overwhelming. We’re here to help. Fill out this form or call us today at (661) 630-4176.