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Signs of Heroin Use In Men

Signs of heroin use in men can begin as subtle changes in behaviors. However, before long they can escalate into extreme physical manifestations. For that matter, mental signs can also surface. Heroin is a very dangerous drug that drives the user to continually use or experience extremely painful withdrawal symptoms. In addition, studies show that men become addicted at a higher rate than women. If you feel like your loved one is using heroin, take action quickly to get help. In all honesty, heroin is a very dangerous and volatile addiction. Because of this, it’s important to seek help for this substance use disorder.

What is Heroin?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes heroin as “an opioid drug made from morphine, a natural substance taken from the seed pod of the various opium poppy plants grown in Southeast and Southwest Asia, Mexico and Columbia.” Heroin presents as a powder that can be brown or white. However, some comes in the form of a sticky black substance known as black tar heroin. People smoke, sniff, inject and snort heroin. Alternatively, some people mix it with crack cocaine.  In fact, some people shoot what is called a speedball, which contains a combination of heroin and cocaine.

The Signs of Heroin Use in Men

When a person addicted to heroin stops using it, extremely painful and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms occur. Consequently, the person usually begins using heroin again to get relief. Signs of heroin use in men can come from an attempt to deal with stressful life situations. When this happens, it’s called self-medicating. Men who use substances to self-medicate prove more likely to experiment with heroin than women. Nevertheless, they may find themselves less likely to ask for help.

Mood swings often accompany heroin addiction. As a result, those abusing this drug can act hostile. Moreover, it’s common for these people to hallucinate and react wildly when agitated. Signs of heroin use in men can range in terms of which ones a person exhibits. As well, some people have more noticeable signs than others.

Common signs of heroin use happen to most people. These can include:

  • Sleep disturbances including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Diarrhea, vomiting and stomach difficulties
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Extreme highs and then extreme lows – including depression
  • Difficulting focusing and thinking
  • Paranoia
  • Marks and bruises on the skin from heroin injection
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Anxiety and nervous behavior
  • Unconsciousness – may be an overdose
  • Wearing long sleeves or pants to hide track marks
  • Picking of the skin
  • Lying or stealing
  • Missing work or school
  • Unexplained use of money

Dangers of Heroin Use

Heroin can destroy a life. By this, we mean those who deal with addiction can lose their jobs, their homes, their families, and their friends. In addition, signs of heroin use in men can be medical in nature. As a result of this, they may develop viruses, clogged arteries, heart attacks, or strokes. Serious physical ramifications can occur to the body from heroin usage. Last and worst of all, addiction can take a life; overdose is common. Additionally, mental illness often co-occurs with heroin addiction. 

Many people suffer from a mental illness alongside their addiction. These can include:

  • Depressive disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Other substance use disorders

Heroin addiction is illegal. Unfortunately, addicts often get introduced to the legal system and get thrown in jail. Then, they experience extreme withdrawal symptoms before seeking help. In addition, suicide is another danger of heroin addiction. 

Effects of Heroin Withdrawal

When the heroin addict continues to use, the body becomes accustomed to the drug. When usage stops suddenly, the withdrawal process begins. So much so that a person begins to noticeably suffer. Signs of heroin use in men can include withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal in rehab is called detoxification. Detox is medically monitored by professionals because the body can react violently to withdrawal. Because of using professional detox, a person proves more likely to complete the process.

The symptoms of heroin withdrawal can include:

  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Intense craving for heroin
  • Stomach cramping
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Runny nose and watery eyes
  • Sweating and chills
  • Restlessness and agitation

Signs of Heroin Use in Men Include Overdose

Overdose with heroin is very common. The body cannot metabolize large doses of heroin and this is when overdose occurs. It is life-threatening and medical treatment is imperative to avoid death. Signs of heroin use in men can include behaviors that indicate an overdose has occurred. If you feel as though your loved one has overdosed, seek immediate medical help. 

Symptoms of heroin overdose include:

  • Weak pulse and labored breathing
  • Lips turning blue
  • Constricted pupils
  • Dry mouth and tongue discoloration
  • Muscle spasms
  • Extreme drowsiness and disorientation
  • Heart attack and/or stroke
  • Seizures
  • Lapsing into a coma

Treatment for the Signs of Heroin Use In Men

Treatment for heroin addiction is often a difficult decision to make. Once the addict decides to enter rehab, quick action needs to be taken. Consult with a rehab center to have an assessment and evaluation to begin detoxification that is medically supervised. Signs of heroin use in men could also include a mental illness that needs assessment and evaluation as well. 

Medically monitored detoxification is the first process of treatment. Experienced mental health and medical providers monitor the addict as the body withdraws from the heroin. Medical intervention can ease the pain from the withdrawal. Twenty-four monitoring proves important to avoid serious medical complications. Signs of heroin use in men can include extreme withdrawal symptoms when deciding to enter rehab. 

Once a person becomes stabilized, an assessment is made of their needs. Because of this, treatment experts then design a plan specifically for their needs. Individual therapy, family therapy, support groups and many other options are available for treatment. Some holistic therapies have had success with heroin addiction. After inpatient rehab, therapists may recommend transitional sober living

Treatment for Heroin Addiction in Los Angeles

Do you deal with heroin addiction and want help? Alternatively, do you see signs of heroin use in a man you know? If so, professional addiction treatment proves important to seek quickly. Riviera Recovery in Los Angeles offers expert care for heroin addiction. Additionally, we treat co-occurring mental health conditions. As a result, we provide well-rounded treatment that helps men become healthy in mind and body. We have many options for treatment here and look forward to speaking with you to discuss a treatment plan. Contact us now for more information.