A person with heroin addiction may try to lie and hide the habit from family and friends but signs will pop up which demonstrate addictive characteristics. If a loved one is suspected of using heroin, knowing the signs can help figure out if it is time to seek help.


Drug Paraphernalia

Many types of drug paraphernalia exist which can demonstrate possible drug use. The following include:

  • Syringes. This is the most popular method of consuming heroin. A hypodermic needle will usually be accompanied by a spoon, a filter and sometimes a lighter or candle for heating up black tar heroin. A belt, rope or cord may also be used to tie off the user’s arm in order to locate appropriate veins to distribute the drug.
  • Aluminum foil. Heroin may also be smoked using two pieces of aluminum foil, one acting as a board to hold the heroin over a flame and the other shaped into a straw to inhale vapors.
    • Glass or metal pipes. The items may be makeshift items used to consume heroin.
  • Baggies or balloons. Small plastic bags or rubber balloons may be used to hide heroin.



Signs and Symptoms

Some of the following indicators may point to signs and symptoms of heroin use.


Constriction of pupils after four or five hours of use can occur and users may exhibit signs of shallow breathing and disorientation. A dirty, unkempt appearance and neglect of personal hygiene is typical of a person using heroin.

Change in Behavior

Individuals who use heroin may appear depressed, withdraw from social circles, express unpredictable moods and appear erratic. Persons with addiction may be more likely to appear anxious and act aggressively towards others.

Track Marks

Needle marks, scars, scabs and bruises from needles are red flags for a loved one who may be using heroin. The ankle, neck or between the toes are often spots for inserting needles.


Personal or Financial Troubles

Some of the signs of a person using heroin are financial, personal and legal troubles. Money may go missing to supply the drug habit and financial troubles will occur after depletion of funds. The individual using heroin may borrow money from loved ones in order to score drugs or pay off debts. The following may also occur for a loved one using heroin:

  • Constant lying or secretiveness
  • Excuses will be made for why a person sleeps excessively or why money is needed
  • Difficulty keeping relationships due to constant manipulation of people in social circles
  • Heroin use can have severe consequences for possession, use and sale of heroin including huge fines and serving prison time


What Can Be Done

In order for a person to be free of heroin addiction, and support is necessary on the part of the family and loved ones. The person with addiction may not be able to control addictive behavior and the family may need to step in to provide support to receive treatment.


Hired Power is available to provide resources and support for individuals with addiction to heroin and other drugs. Call us today to find out how to get started on the path to recovery.