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How to Help a Heroin Addict

  1. Table of ContentsPrint
  2. Is Heroin Addictive?
  3. What Are the Signs of Addiction?
  4. Am I Addicted to Heroin?
  5. Heroin Addiction Treatment
  6. Call Our Hotline Today

woman-heroin-addict-heating-heroin-on-spoonMore than 140,000 people used heroin for the first time in 2010, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

If you or someone you love is addicted to heroin, you're not alone, and there is help available.

Quotes from heroin addicts

  • “I live in real fear that I'll relapse, and being so much older now, there's no way I'd survive this time around.” (source)
  • “My father died from addiction, we lost a cousin, I myself had numerous overdoses and helped prevent siblings from OD-ing…”
  • “Recovery from heroin addiction is almost a miracle. Because it is not only your body that screams for the substance. Your brain wants it too. Without heroin, emotional pain feels unbearable.”

Heroin Help Quiz question 1

Is Heroin Addictive?

Because of the way heroin affects the brain it is an extremely addictive drug In 2013, nearly 5 million people in the US reported having tried heroin at least once.


Heroin is an extremely addictive opiate due to how rapidly it enters the brain. It has both short-term and long-term effects. Short-term effects of using heroin include:

  • Feeling flushed.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Nausea.
  • Severe itching.
  • Drowsiness.

With long-term use, physical dependence increases. The long-term effects of heroin use may include collapsed veins, bacterial infections, and arthritis, which is why it's so vital to get help as soon as possible.
To know more about the harmful effects of Heroin use, give us a call today.

Heroin is a potentially deadly drug. In 2012, over 3,600 deaths in the US were connected to heroin usage.

Heroin Help Quiz question 2

What Are the Signs of Addiction?

Signs of drug addiction include needing increasingly larger or more frequent doses of heroin to feel the same effect. If you're worried about yourself or someone you love, also watch for the following physical and behavioral signs of addiction to heroin:

Physical Signs

  • Small, pinpoint pupils.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Slower reflexes.
  • Sweating.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Needle marks from injecting the drug.

Behavioral Signs

  • Mood swings.
  • Spending money on heroin that you can't afford.
  • Taking risks to obtain the drug.
  • Neglecting your appearance.

Heroin Help Quiz question 3

Am I Addicted to Heroin?

A sign that you're addicted to heroin is if you experience withdrawal symptoms when you're not using heroin. Symptoms of withdrawal include:

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Am I unable to stop heroin use?
  • Do I spend money on heroin I need for necessities?
  • Have I lost interest in hobbies and activities?
  • Can I imagine life without heroin?

  • Restlessness.
  • Insomnia.
  • Cold flashes.
  • Leg movements.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.

These withdrawal symptoms can be managed, however, so they are not an excuse for detoxing.

Take the Assessment

The following short test will help you determine the extent of the problem.


Heroin Help Quiz question 4

Heroin Help Quiz question 5

Heroin Addiction Treatment

Heroin can be extremely addictive, and as of 2012, over 100,000 people were admitted to treatment facilities for heroin usage. However, recovery from heroin addiction is possible. The exact treatment varies depending on the heroin addict, but one of the most effective treatments available is methadone. Once the patient has undergone tests for HIV, cardiovascular infections and hepatitis B and C tests, the addict will start detox therapy. During detox, certain medications may be used:

  • Methadone is a synthetic opiate that eliminates the withdrawal symptoms associated with ending heroin use. It also stops the effects of heroin.
  • Buprenorphine is another prescription medication that has similar effects to methadone. While these can be addictive substances on their own, many consider these medications to be lifesaving.

Behavioral therapy is also used to help heroin abusers. Behavioral therapy is often used in conjunction with prescription treatments to help heroin users recover. Behavioral therapy styles include:

Behavioral therapy can take place in a one-on-one setting or in a group setting.

Another helpful resource for many is Narcotics Anonymous (NA). This is a nonprofit organization made up of recovering addicts. Groups meet independently and provide support and guidance while learning to live sober lives. Group meetings can supplement other types of treatment.

Heroin addiction help can take place in a number of settings:

  • Outpatient treatment is when heroin abusers live at home and continue their daily routines while receiving treatment.
  • Residential treatment is when the heroin addict lives full time at a treatment center. This allows the addict to focus exclusively on recovery.

For more information on the best residential treatment options for you, call 1-800-943-0566.

Heroin Help Quiz question 6

Call Our Hotline Today

Recognizing that you or a loved one needs heroin addiction help can be difficult and frightening. You don't have to deal with addiction alone, though. There are professionals available to help you or your loved one. Call our hotline today at 1-800-943-0566 to find out what options are best for you and your situation.

Need Help Understanding Your Addiction Treatment Options? Call 1-888-747-7155.