Nadja Uhl in Kleine Dealer

Physical Signs of Heroin Use

Heroin use facts and statistics

Derived from the opium poppy and synthesized from codeine, heroin is a powerfully addictive substance and functions as a morphine “prodrug” which means that it converts to morphine in the body metabolically. Nearly 90% of the world’s opium and its derivatives are produced in Afghanistan but there is a significantly large amount originating in Mexico as production of the drug in that country has increased six-fold since 2007. Here are some facts and statistics regarding heroin that you should be aware of:

  • There are approximately 150,000 new heroin users every year
  • After being used the first time, physical dependency can occur with only a couple of more injections of the drug and an individual’s habit could increase to $150 to $200 per day
  • 80% of all heroin users get high with another heroin user while 80% of all the heroin addicts who die from heroin overdose do so alone
  • About 14% of the total ER visits per year or 150,000 visits are associated with heroin addiction or heroin use
  • 14% of the total number of admissions into addiction treatment and recovery centers throughout the US are associated with heroin abuse, addiction, or dependency

Heroin is recognized as one of the most powerfully addictive and destructive substances in the world. Once a person becomes addicted to or dependent on heroin, their world is total out of control and chaotic.

Recognizing the Signs of Heroin Abuse

A person’s compulsion to obtain a continual supply of heroin controls them and can be totally overwhelming. There are 7 signs to be aware of that are indicative of heroin abuse, addiction, or dependency including:

Drug Paraphernalia

  1. Paraphernalia indicating heroin use is found – belts or shoelaces, foil or gum wrappers, needles (new or used), spoons, and syringes are examples of paraphernalia to look for if you suspect that a person has a heroin problem. Additionally, if they are smoking or snorting it, you will notice glass pipes, razor blades, and straws lying around.
  2. Body mutilation – “tracks” from injecting heroin will start showing up over time and can be seen all over the person’s body and eventually become increasingly harder to hide.
  3. Changes in peer groups – heroin addiction causes the user to seek out other people who use the drug and eventually they will walk away from long-term, trusted friendships.
  4. Sudden changes in behavior – the individual is angry and sad all the time instead of being the fun-loving individual they once were. Getting professional help is a phone call away
  5. Poor performance on the job or in school – a person’s focus and their priorities start to shift from schoolwork or work until maintaining a supply of the drug is their only concern, meaning that their performance in school or at work is most likely suffering.
  6. Possessions come up missing – you’ll start to notice that numerous possessions start disappearing from the addict’s home because these valuables were sold in order to support their habit.
  7. Financial problems – heroin addiction is expensive and can cost up to $200 a day, so the addict will eventually begin borrowing money from family members and friends until that option is no longer possible and they may start stealing to pay for their habit.

We can help with your addiction

The Freedom Center is an addiction treatment and recovery center that offers some of the most effective drug rehab programs and can help you overcome the physical signs of heroin use so that you successfully recover from your addiction or dependency. Please contact us today at the toll-free phone number listed above and speak with one of our addiction specialists today.

Video on The Heroin Crisis from National Geographic

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