Heroin substance abuse is on the rise in Vancouver. It is easily accessible and can be smoked or snorted, but most users progress to injection for the powerful high it provides. Injection offers a host of risks including inflamed and collapsed veins, skin infections, abscesses, organ failure, emaciation, septicemia, hepatitis and HIV / AIDS.

Heroin is often contaminated with stronger drugs which also increase the risk of using it due to the risk of overdose. Other contaminants also lead to additional health hazards. Sometimes people inadvertently use heroin when it is laced in a joint (marijuana).

Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Drug Abuse and Addiction

Since heroin users sometimes may not be able to identify their addiction, it may be up to family and friends to look for signs. With early intervention, you might be able to prevent your loved one’s heroin use from escalating to a serious drug addiction. Watch for these signs of heroin use:

  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Slowed / altered heart rate
  • Labored breathing / shallow breathing
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting
  • Shaking
  • Change of sleeping schedule; may be out all night
  • Deterioration of appearance
  • Sleepiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itching
  • Skin damage, scabs, rashes
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Abandoning responsibilities and obligations
  • Forgetfulness

Often the first signs are changes in behaviour and personality. Loss of interest in normal activities, secretive behaviour and changes in sleep schedule can indication the start of a problem.

Seek Help for Heroin Substance Abuse As Soon as You Detect It

Due to the risks of using street drugs, it’s vitally important to seek treatment for heroin as soon as possible. Once someone has begun using street drugs, it’s highly difficult for them to quit due to their intense addictive nature. The lifestyle also becomes just as hard to break free from as the addiction itself. It is important to seek professional help as soon as you suspect your loved one is using heroin.

Contact Us for Help for Heroin Substance Abuse and Addiction Today

If you are concerned a loved one may have a heroin substance abuse problem, please contact us. We are an addictions centre for women and our caring, experienced professionals waiting to assist you. We have helped hundreds of women overcome drug and alcohol addiction. We can be reached at 1-800-801-8354.