16 Most Common Heroin Addict Symptoms

Heroin is a type of opioid drug. It is made from morphine, a natural substance taken from the seed pod of opium poppy plants. Highly addictive, heroin addiction is often a chronic disease with a high likelihood of relapses, even in someone who is in recovery.

Heroin addiction changes the brain and can lead to uncontrollable drug-seeking behaviour despite the afflicted knowing the negative consequences. Heroin addict symptoms vary slightly but align with many similar substance addictions, though with heightened intensity.

Here are the different heroin addict symptoms:

Symptom #1: Lack of control

As the brain and body adapt to requiring heroin to feel alright, the person loses control of their decision-making to acquire more heroin. Consult addiction treatment centers for help. The experts can help minimize the harmful effects and help the patients restore control.

Symptom #2: Depression

For a lot of heroin addicts, they find themselves in a cycle of depression, then euphoria based on heroin intake, and then back into depression. In effect, they are training their brains to experience sometimes extreme depression when there is a lack of heroin.

Symptom #3: Anxiety

Heroin addicts often experience anxiety as a withdrawal effect, unable to escape the feelings of panic and fear until they find their next fix.

Symptom #4: Hallucinations

As the brain adapts and changes according to the amount of heroin it’s receiving, there is no telling what temporary or permanent damage may be done. A person may experience hallucinations, paranoia, or disorientation, often when the body starts to withdraw to acquire more heroin.

Symptom #5: Drug-Seeking

To obtain heroin, heroin addicts may be willing to do things that they would not normally do or ever consider, such as elements of crime or sexual acts. They are, however, driven to seek heroin as there’s a physical and mental addiction to it, telling them very loudly that they require more or risk withdrawals.

Symptom #6: Lying about drug use

A heroin addict will often try to hide what’s happening and refuse to acknowledge that they have a heroin addiction or a drug problem.

Symptom #7: Evidence of intake

There is clear physical evidence of heroin addiction that many addicts eventually do not hide. The possession of burned spoons, needles, or syringes. Missing shoelaces. Glass pipes. Clear stashes of drugs throughout the home or in their car.

Symptom #8: Avoiding loved ones

If they know a family member or friend is constantly questioning them, a heroin addict may avoid those interactions altogether.

Also, suppose they do not want to disappoint family or friends. In that case, you may see them avoiding family get-togethers or purposefully isolating themselves from others to maintain their secret, eliminate the possibility of questions or concerns, and avoid a confrontation with people they care about.

Symptom #9: Mood swings

A person with a heroin addiction may be highly irritable when they do not have heroin in their system, or you may see them be irretrievably happy, senselessly sad or angry, or unable to find themselves with a lot of authority over their emotions.

Symptom #10: Hostile towards others

Even if they’re usually the nicest person in the world and your relationship with them is good, a heroin addict can be spontaneously hostile towards others. There is likely no reason other than they want more of their drug of choice.

Symptom #11: Lack of motivation

Motivation is very difficult to come by for a lot of long-term heroin addicts. It may start with a decline in performance at school or work. From there, it can be seen in feelings of apathy, increased sleeping, sometimes falling asleep mid-conversation, periods of exhaustion, and decreased attention to personal hygiene.

Symptom #12: Weight loss

A sudden, rapid weight loss is a common symptom of heroin addiction. Heroin suppresses the appetite, resulting in fewer meals and, in many cases, addicts not eating for a day or more multiple times over a week.

Symptom #13: Taking heroin may lack pleasure

At a certain point, a heroin addict is no longer taking it for the rush of pleasure, joy, and well-being they probably once received. While those effects may still exist, they diminish over time. Eventually, a heroin addict takes the drug more to feed the physical need of having it.

Symptom #14: Physical marks on the body

A heroin addict may have warmer, more flushed skin in general, track marks on the arms and legs, and scabs and bruises on the skin due to picking at it.

As a result of these physical signs of addiction, heroin addicts often try to cover up the evidence by wearing long pants and long shirts, even when the weather’s warm.

Symptom #15: Taking larger amounts

As tolerance builds and the positive effects in the body of processing heroin are diminished, a person may decide to take larger amounts or by riskier means to achieve the same high. This is despite the increased risks and the negative consequences to their well-being.

Symptom #16: Respiratory symptoms

As heroin is a suppressant of the respiratory system, it is not uncommon for heroin addicts to eventually experience shortness of breath, dry mouth, and increasingly frequent respiratory infections. This is because their respiratory system is weakening.