The Signs of Smoking Heroin & What to Look For

What Is Heroin?

Heroin is an illicit opioid drug that is made from morphine, a natural substance found in certain plants. On the street, this illegal drug is also known as Big H, horse, and smack. It comes in the form of a white or brown powder or a black and sticky, tar-like substance. While heroin is most commonly injected, it can also be snorted, sniffed, or smoked. Depending on how someone consumed heroin, their side effects may vary.


Side Effects of Smoking Heroin

Someone may choose to smoke heroin over injecting it because of the stigma that comes with injectables. Additionally, some may believe that smoking heroin is less dangerous than injecting it. However, it can be just as risky to smoke heroin as it is to inject it. Heroin can be smoked from a glass pipe, can be heated and smoked on a piece of foil, or can be laced into tobacco or marijuana cigarettes and joints.

When someone smokes heroin, the substance enters their brain at a rapid rate. Heroin produces a high and euphoric sensation, which usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes after smoking to kick in. While side effects are different for everyone who smokes heroin, here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Clouded thoughts
  • Dry mouth
  • Heavy limbs
  • Flushing skin
  • Severe itching
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Changes in consciousness

The effects above may begin almost immediately after using heroin. Down the line, consuming this drug regularly may contribute to serious issues like overdose, lung complications, liver problems, kidney issues, and even death. Since heroin can be extremely dangerous and addictive even after one use, it’s important to know the signs that someone is smoking it in order to get them the help they need.


Smoking Heroin: The Signs

Do you think that someone you know may be using heroin? If someone uses heroin, they may require immediate rehabilitation or treatment. That’s why it is vital to keep an eye out for the following signs that someone may be smoking heroin.

Someone may be smoking heroin if….

  • They have developed a chronic cough
  • Their voice has changed & become hoarse
  • They have been borrowing money from you
  • Their pupils are either tiny or large
  • Their eyes are often bloodshot
  • Their eyelids are heavy and they have puffiness or dark circles under their eyes
  • They have burn marks on their mouth or fingers
  • They keep picking at scabs or marks on their skin
  • They seem more tired or withdrawn than usually
  • Their nose often runs or bleeds
  • They have been neglecting their personal hygiene
  • They experience extreme weight loss

Of course, the signs above alone can not clearly determine if someone is using heroin. The only way to know for sure if someone you love has a problem with drugs is to do your research and talk to them about the issue.


Next Steps: Treatment For Heroin Abuse

When someone stops using heroin, they will probably go through withdrawal. Withdrawal will entail several undesirable symptoms, but can be managed if detox is administered at a rehab or healthcare facility.

To learn more about the signs and symptoms of using heroin, contact our team of substance abuse treatment specialists by calling 267.209.7312.