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How to Tell if Someone is Addicted to Heroin

Do you think you know someone who is addicted to Heroin?

Heroin is one of the most unforgiving drugs. According to the Center for Disease Control, overdose deaths due to heroin have quadrupled and more since 2010. This opiate has been ravaging communities and families through its brutal nature. Someone doesn’t have to use or even see heroin to have it affect their lives. It’s vital for them to be aware of whether a friend, family member or other person is using heroin if they want to help them. Here are some ways to tell if someone is addicted to heroin.

Unwell Appearance

A heroin addict is bound to look perpetually sick. Their drug use can take a huge toll on the health of their bodies, which comes through not just internally, but externally as well. If you know someone who looks constantly gaunt and sickly, then there’s reason to suspect heroin use. They might have a consistently fatigued experience, particularly through their eyes. They might move slowly and fail to respond to questions in a timely fashion. If they’re breathing, it might be extremely slow and ragged.

Avoidant Behavior

Addicts find themselves withdrawn from socializing and other activities that don’t involve using heroin. Someone who is addicted to heroin is likely to spend a large amount of time in their bedrooms or homes, trying to feed their addiction or not deal with the stress of the outside world. However, just because they’re trying to willfully avoid responsibilities and realities of life, that doesn’t mean those things will stop existing. Heroin addiction is a beast that only gets stronger the further it goes.


Many heroin users take the drug intravenously, meaning it’s injected into their veins through a needle, commonly into their arms. This can leave what is known as “track marks,” wounds that come as a result of intravenous drug use. In order to not have these marks noticed, addicts will often wear long sleeves in order to cover up their arms. While this might not arouse attention in the colder months, it can definitely do so in the warmer months.

Heroin Use Supplies

One doesn’t have to find a needle or heroin itself in order to suspect someone is addicted. These are definitive evidence of heroin use, but there are other signs as well. There might be baggies around the user’s bedroom that they could be using to store the drug in. Another sign is burnt spoons. Users will prepare the drug for injection by “cooking” it in a spoon.

Losing Weight

Heroin addicts are unlikely to feel motivated to properly feed themselves, as their addiction is typically the only thing they have any sort of appetite for. You might not realize someone is addicted just by looking at them if you haven’t known them for very long. However, if you have known someone long enough, you should be able to tell when they’ve lost a great deal of weight.

Mood Swings

Drug use often starts with a desire to get high, but once someone becomes addicted, their use revolves around feeling normal, as they need their substances in order to feel remotely okay. Someone addicted to heroin needs the drug to maintain some sense of sanity. If they aren’t able to access it, then they’ll have trouble coping and might find themselves lashing out and sinking into despair.

Financial Problems

Drug addiction isn’t cheap, and it gets more expensive the longer it goes. Initially, heroin users might think it seems fairly low-cost. However, the further they go, the more they’ll need in order to satisfy their cravings. Their addiction could quickly balloon into an expense that costs them hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars in a week. Their addiction problems could lead to them having trouble holding down a job, and means they could resort to means like thievery or prostitution in order to support their habit.


Bodies vomit when they want to expel unwanted chemicals and substances. Heroin is a highly unwelcome substance, so it’s understandable that it would make a user vomit. If they’re constantly vomiting, then it’s very likely that they’re using heroin.


One’s body reacts to heroin use through opioid receptors. One of these receptors is known as the MOR1D, which responds through making users feel itchy. If someone is seen constantly scratching themselves with no clear explanation as to why then it’s highly like that they are addicted to heroin.

It’s understandable why someone would reluctant to reveal their heroin addiction, as they would likely feel a great deal of shame about it. However, hiding it does nothing to help. If you believe that someone you know is addicted to heroin, don’t be afraid to confront them about it. You could be saving their life.

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