Heroin use can wreak havoc on the life of the person using it, as well as anyone and everyone they love. It\u2019s a highly addictive drug, and heroin overdoses are not uncommon. If you\u2019re worried a loved one is using or addicted to heroin, it\u2019s important to keep an eye out for certain physical, emotional, and behavioral changes. By noticing signs of heroin use, you can help them get the help they need and support them on their path to recovery. Signs of Heroin Use There are many signs of heroin use, but depending on the level of use some may be easier to notice. The following physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral signs of heroin use can help you find out if your loved one is using heroin. Physical Signs When a person is using heroin, it results in physical changes, including: \tConstricted pupils \tSlow, shallow breathing \tWatery eyes and runny nose \tScabs, sores, track marks, and other skin damage resulting when someone injects heroin \tDisrupted sleep patterns \tWeight loss \tFatigue Together, these physical signs and symptoms can indicate heroin use. If any of these get worse or become alarming, then your loved one may be struggling with heroin addiction. If you notice these signs, help your loved one find a medical detox center to ease withdrawal symptoms. Cognitive Signs Heroin changes the way the mind works, sometimes in significant ways. It\u2019s crucial to notice when these changes occur. If they happen regularly, then it\u2019s probably not a case of your loved one having a series of \u2018bad days.\u2019 Substance abuse may be at the heart of the issue. Cognitive symptoms of heroin use include: \tDisorientation \tPoor judgment \tDecline in memory and thinking skills \tImpaired ability to focus or concentrate \tConfusion These cognitive signs of heroin use can all be reversed with sober living and addiction therapy programs. Therapy programs at Washburn House include: \tCognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) \tDialectical behavior therapy (DBT) \tIndividual and group therapy \tYoga therapy \tMusic therapy Emotional Signs Unsettling emotional changes are another effect of heroin abuse: \tAnxiety \tAgitation \tMood swings \tSocial withdrawal Substance abuse often goes hand-in-hand with mental health issues. These are known as co-occurring disorders or a dual diagnosis. Many people who use heroin start as a form of self-medication to soothe emotional pain. It can make everything seem blissful, but the euphoria offered by heroin doesn\u2019t fix or eradicate underlying mental health issues. It merely masks or buries them. When heroin abuse is used as self-medication, mental health issues go untreated. Then they can worsen over time. Heroin abuse can make symptoms of conditions like depression\u2014low mood, hopelessness, and low self-worth\u2014much worse. The emotional changes that heroin causes also mean that someone without mental health issues could develop them following substance abuse or drug addiction. Heroin users often isolate themselves from the world and neglect the positive parts of their lives that help protect their mental health, like the following: \tA healthy lifestyle \tWork commitments \tFamily and social life \tRomantic relationships When this happens, a vicious cycle can be set in motion. Behavioral Signs There are many behavioral changes that may be warning signs of heroin use. Some behaviors stem from heroin use itself and others come from hiding their addiction. They know it will upset family members and close friends, or they think they\u2019ll be shamed for it. Since heroin users often use deception to hide their substance abuse, it can be difficult to know if they\u2019re actually using heroin. Being suspicious about a loved one\u2019s activities may be justified if what they say about their whereabouts is vague or doesn\u2019t add up. People using heroin tend to have less and less interest in activities, even the ones they used to enjoy. This could include socializing, going to work, doing their favorite hobbies, and taking care of their duties and commitments. Your loved one will probably do their best to make sure you don\u2019t find out about their heroin use. But if they\u2019re addicted, they may be high in your presence sometimes. Sometimes, like when they nod off, it will be obvious that they\u2019re high. Look for: \tNodding off \u2013 a point in the high when someone becomes slack and droopy, looking barely awake \tSlow movements, looking drowsy or distant, slow or slurred speech \u2013 occurring when someone is taking smaller amounts of heroin or coming down from a high \tPossession of paraphernalia \u2013 possession of syringes, needles, and other heroin-related items \tDeceptive \u2013 hiding their whereabouts and what they're up to One of the key signs of heroin addiction is using larger quantities of heroin to achieve the desired effect. This is because heroin users build up a tolerance to the drug and need to take more and more to feel the same high they once experienced. Increased tolerance can be a problem because a heroin addict who ups their dosage also ups their risk of overdose. Another sign of heroin use is spending a considerable amount of time acquiring, using, and coming down from heroin. When a loved one struggles with heroin addiction, they may become desperate to fund it. They might constantly ask for money, claiming they need it for bills, clothes, or other essentials. Your loved one may sell their possessions or use all their money for heroin, no longer taking care of their other financial responsibilities. How to Help the Person You Love It\u2019s scary to learn that someone you know is struggling with heroin abuse or addiction, but it\u2019s important to try and keep judgment at bay and realize that substance abuse often starts because someone is in pain. Don\u2019t Enable Their Heroin Use A loved one with a heroin problem may start asking you for money. It may be difficult to refuse, especially when they become emotional or resort to guilt-tripping, manipulation, deception, or pleading. Be strong, and resist any actions that could enable their behavior. Doing so will ultimately benefit their recovery. Treatment for Signs of Heroin Use at Washburn House There are a number of treatment options for people addicted to heroin: \tMedical detox \u2013 this should be monitored by medically trained professionals who can help your loved one through heroin withdrawal symptoms \tInpatient rehab program\u00a0\u2013 your loved one will stay at a residential treatment center for however long it takes for them to feel ready to move on to the next step of their recovery \tOutpatient rehab programs \u2013 continue with life, as usual, staying at home but regularly visiting a rehab facility where they attend counseling sessions and receive other forms of heroin addiction treatment There is only so much you can do to help a loved one struggling with heroin addiction once you see what\u2019s going on. You cannot force them to get sober or stay sober. What you can do is give them information about the nearest addiction treatment center, mental health professional, or support group. Once your loved one is on the road to recovery, you can strive to act in an encouraging, caring, and compassionate manner. A relationship like that can be vitally important to someone trying to stay free of heroin. Contact Washburn House by calling to help your loved one today.