The internet is an excellent resource when you want to learn more about heroin addiction. However, many of the signs and symptoms are obvious, and some heroin addicts do a very good job of hiding their addictions. If you suspect that a friend or family member is harboring an addiction, you may be wondering if they can act normal, even while addicted. The answer: possibly, to some degree.
Let’s explore some of the most common – though not always obvious – signs that a person could be hiding a heroin addiction.
We’re all tired from time to time, so it’s not anything out of the ordinary to feel sluggish. However, heroin use is characterized by a surge of euphoria and a long state of drowsiness. The euphoria only lasts for a few minutes, so you probably won’t see this part of the use. Instead, you may notice that the person is sleeping at odd times, has slow speech and seems generally confused.
Heroin is a very powerful, very addictive drug. Though there are some who claim they can control their use, we have yet to see or hear of this in our experience. Because of the hold that the opioid takes on a person, it’s easy for there to be a shift in priorities. No longer is hanging out with friends, playing sports or meeting family for dinner important. Addicts put all of their energy into finding their next fix.
Personality and mood changes are normal in teens and young adults, so it’s difficult to attribute them to drugs. Still, most parents know that something is “off.” Trust this instinct. Isolation is common for heroin addicts. They tend to have periods of high anxiety, which is usually when they’re looking for their next fix and surround themselves with other drug users.
Early in heroin addiction, it can be possible for an addict to lead a double life. This usually doesn’t last for long because heroin is all-consuming, but we agree that you shouldn’t wait until this point. Ask yourself if it appears that your loved one is trying to balance two different lives? Do they show up to family events but seem distracted and leave early? Have you discovered extra bank accounts? Is there a new group of friends in the picture?
If you discover that someone close to you does indeed have a drug problem, the next step is to stage an intervention with a qualified addiction specialist. You don’t have to wait for rock bottom in order to get someone help. To learn more about getting treatment for someone you care about, call The River Source. Your call is confidential.