Last updated: 11/13/2018
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Most people understand the dangers of living with a heroin addiction, though many don’t realize just how dangerous it can be. According to the Medical College of Wisconsin, heroin users of any age are 10 times more likely to die than same-aged non-heroin users.
Anyone who so much as suspects a heroin addiction has started to take over his or her life may well want to consider getting heroin addiction treatment. With each passing dose, heroin’s effects weaken brain cell structures making them all the more susceptible to the drug’s addictive effects.
Heroin addiction treatment makes it possible for addicts to overcome persistent drug cravings, while providing needed medical care to relieve uncomfortable withdrawal effects. For most addicts, drug cravings and withdrawal effects become the two biggest barriers to getting well. With ongoing heroin addiction treatment help, recovering addicts obtain the support and motivation needed to eliminate heroin from their lives.
If you suspect you or someone you know may need heroin addiction treatment, here are 10 signs to watch out for.
1. Increasing Drug Cravings
According to the NIDA, increasing drug cravings mark the start of heroin’s vicious addiction cycle. In the absence of heroin addiction treatment, drug cravings continue to grow stronger driving addicts to consume greater quantities of the drug.
2. Physical Withdrawal Symptoms
Physical withdrawal symptoms develop when the body doesn’t get needed amounts of the drug. As heroin disrupts various systems in the body, withdrawal symptoms can take the form of:
- Aches and pains
- Muscle cramps
3. Increasing Tolerance Levels
The more the brain is exposed to heroin, the higher a person’s tolerance levels will go. Increasing tolerance levels greatly contribute to the addiction cycle.
4. Unable to Stop Using
Heroin addiction becomes most apparent in cases where a person has made multiple attempts to stop using and failed.
5. Behavior Changes
As heroin takes on more importance in a person’s life, his or her behaviors start to center on getting and using more drugs.
6. Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms
Psychological withdrawal symptoms alter a person’s reasoning abilities and pose the greatest barrier to recognizing the need for heroin addiction treatment.
Symptoms to watch out for include:
- Bouts of anxiety
- Suicidal ideations
7. Lifestyle Changes
Once heroin becomes the focus of a person’s life, friends, daily routines and work responsibilities fall by the wayside.
8. Financial Problems
Heroin compromises a person’s judgment and decision-making abilities. Financial problems grow increasingly worse the longer he or she puts off getting needed heroin addiction treatment.
9. Damaged Relationships
Compulsive drug-seeking behaviors drive a wedge between what once were close, important relationships in the addict’s life. In turn, heroin drives users to form new associations with “like-minded others.
10. Overdose Episode
Anyone who’s experienced a heroin overdose episode and still continues to use is quickly reaching the end of the line when it comes to addiction’s damaging effects. At this point, getting needed heroin addiction treatment can mean the difference between life and death.