Rehab Centres UK

Signs of Heroin Use and Addiction

Nicholas Conn
Nicholas Conn

Nicholas is a leading addiction expert UK's go-to man on related matters for the national press, TV and radio.

Therapist providing advice and support to patient

Heroin is a highly addictive drug and poses significant risks to individuals and communities. If you are currently experiencing heroin dependence, understanding the heroin addiction signs is a must when seeking early support and guidance.

In this blog, we will explore the different signs and indicators that you or a loved one might be using heroin or showing signs of developing an addiction.


Understanding Heroin Addiction

Heroin is a highly addictive drug that can have devastating effects on the brain. When consumed, heroin rapidly enters the brain and binds to opioid receptors which have the responsibility of regulating pain and pleasure.

This process results in a surge of dopamine which is a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of joy and pleasure for individuals. However, if this process is repeated the brain adapts to the presence of heroin and requires more doses of the drug to achieve the same effect.

The increased presence of heroin can lead to changes in the brain’s reward system and overall lead to the development of an addiction.


Heroin Addiction Signs

Different signs implicate the development of an addiction that you should be aware of to prevent the chances of experiencing an addiction. There are four different signs to look out for including:

  • physical
  • behavioural
  • psychological
  • social signs of heroin addiction

Here are the different signs of heroin addiction explained in more detail.


Physical Signs of Heroin Addiction

A heroin addiction is a highly severe addiction and can have significant effects on your physical health, creating a physical dependence on the drug.

Several physical signs can indicate that you or someone you know is struggling with a heroin addiction. These physical signs can include needle marks or scars on the arm or other parts of the body from injecting the drug.


Behavioural Signs of Heroin Addiction

A heroin addiction can have significant effects on your lifestyle and your overall health. Many behavioural signs may indicate that you are struggling with an addiction, allowing you to seek help as soon as possible. To identify whether you are dealing with a heroin addiction, here are some behavioural signs to look out for:


  • Change in mood
  • Change in behaviour
  • Increased irritability
  • Increased aggression
  • Secrecy


Psychological Signs of Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction is a serious and complex issue that can have devastating effects on your physical health, developing a psychological dependence on heroin. Recognising the psychological signs is essential for understanding the entirety of the addiction. Here are some of the key signs to look out for:


  • Mood Swings
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Increased tolerance and dependence


Social Signs of Heroin Addiction

Heroin abuse has serious effects on people of all ages and one of the most concerning aspects of this type of addiction is the impact it has on your social life. Several signs may indicate you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction. These can include:


  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Isolation
  • Secrecy
  • Loss of interest in social activities


The Effects of Heroin Addiction

The effects of heroin addiction will vary from person to person depending on different factors such as duration, amount of heroin used and individual health. It is found that the severity of symptoms gets worse the longer the drug is used. Having a good understanding of the effects of heroin is important and some of the effects may include:


  • Liver Disease
  • Infections and skin problems
  • HIV
  • Failed mental functioning
  • Kidney disease
  • Seizures


Seeking Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Recognising the signs of heroin addiction is a positive step towards getting the support you or a loved one needs. Professional treatment is crucial for overcoming addiction and developing a healthier social life.

Those who seek treatment for opiate addiction report a huge reduction in use – with users reporting using opiates for 23 days out of 28 days at the beginning of treatment, and after six months of treatment, using opiates for just 8.6 days on average.

Here are some of the key treatment options available to you to choose from:


Detoxification and Withdrawal Management

Detoxification and withdrawal management are key steps in the process of overcoming a heroin addiction. This process involves removing any harmful substances caused by drug abuse from your body and managing the range of symptoms of withdrawal.

Detoxification is a process that not only focuses on removing toxins from the body but can also prepare you for any further treatment by stabilising both your physical and mental health.

On the other hand, withdrawal management focuses on addressing the discomfort and withdrawal symptoms that are associated with removing yourself from drug and alcohol usage. With professional medical support in place, you can successfully get through the process of withdrawal and live a much healthier lifestyle.


Rehab Programmes

Rehab programmes are a beneficial treatment option that is available to you when you face physical or mental challenges. These programmes aim to improve your overall well-being and quality of life with the necessary tools and guidance to overcome your difficulties.

Whether you are recovering from an injury, managing a chronic condition, or overcoming an addiction, rehab offers you a supportive and structured environment allowing you to feel safe and comfortable when healing from your addiction.


Therapy and Counselling

If you are seeking support and guidance for your mental health and emotional well-being, therapy and counselling are a beneficial treatment option.

With the use of guidance from a trained professional you can work together to help develop coping mechanisms and healthy lifestyle routines that help address the cravings related to addiction.

Both therapy and counselling aim to improve your mental health and provide tools that can help guide you to living a healthier lifestyle. Whether you are dealing with personal struggles or relationship issues counselling can be beneficial for developing your personal growth and self-awareness.


Seek Treatment with Rehab Centres UK

Heroin addiction can impact various aspects of your lifestyle including your social life. Recognising the signs related to addiction can help identify and address the underlying issues at an early stage.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a heroin addiction, seeking professional help can help you get started on your journey to recovery.

At Rehab Centres UK, we aim to provide you with a smooth recovery process with effective treatment options that are best suited to your needs.

With treatment options such as drug and alcohol rehab, we will be able to provide an environment that helps you manage the withdrawal symptoms related to heroin addiction safely and effectively.

Need Help With Your Addiction?

If you are looking for rehab for your addiction, contact our 24/7 support line for help at 0808 175 7225 today.