Call Logo
24/7 BRIDGEVILLE 724-260-5179 Belle Vernon 724 518-3072


Start your
Contact Us
Loved One Addiction

How to Tell if My Loved one is Using

October 12, 2020

If you think that a loved one is using heroin and you are trying to determine this for sure, you will need to pay special attention to their physical characteristics, lifestyle habits, and their home. These habits and characteristics may begin to change as the addiction progresses.
It is important to keep in mind that it can be hard to identify a heroin addiction in the early stages, but over time, signs of addiction will become evident as the disease progresses. Knowing and identifying the signs of heroin addiction is one important step in the process of supporting your loved one in getting help.

Signs that Your Loved One is Using

If someone is using drugs, such as heroin, their life will be focused on using that drug. Many times, a person who is using will become secretive, overly concerned about money, and will also begin to neglect their family and work duties so they can use or recover from using.
There are behavioral, physical, emotional, and psychological signs of drug abuse that will indicate if your loved one has an issue.

Behavioral Signs

There are patterns, changes, and visual signs that occur when someone is putting their use of drugs first. Common behavioral signs include, but are not limited to:

  • Loss of self-control
  • Periods of hyperactivity that are immediately followed by periods of exhaustion
  • Issues with frequent tardiness or absenteeism at work, home, school, or social events
  • Impulsivity
  • Sudden change in who they hang out with
  • Changes in behavior or lifestyle
  • Acting hostile towards others
  • Frequently lying to others
  • Behaving erratically
  • Lack of or decreased attention to their personal hygiene and physical appearance
  • Social isolation
  • Wearing long-sleeve shirts, no matter how warm it is outside to hide track marks

Emotional and Psychological Signs

Emotional and Psychological signs may be harder to see and can vary based on the person. Emotional and psychological signs of drug abuse can include:

  • Disorientation
  • Memory loss
  • Anxiety
  • Euphoria
  • Issues with making decisions
  • No interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • Paranoia
  • Mood-swings
  • Irritability/agitation
  • Lack of motivation
  • Apathy
  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Cravings to use

While there are a variety of physical signs of heroin use, these signs will vary based on the individual and how they administer the drug. For those who use intravenously, they may have track marks on their arms and body. Other physical signs are caused by the side effects of the drugs. Common short-term physical effects of heroin use include, but are not limited to:

  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Weight loss
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • For women, loss of menstrual cycle (known as amenorrhea)
  • Frequent itching/picking of skin
  • Frequent sedation
  • Slurred or incoherent speech
  • Drowsiness for hours
  • Slowed heart rate (this occurs after the initial rush)
  • Pinpoint pupils

Do You Think Your Loved One is Using? South Hills Recovery Project is Here to Help.

If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, it can be a difficult subject to talk about. If you suspect your loved one is using based on the information provided in this article. Reach out to our addiction treatment center in South Hills today to learn more about how you can help your loved get the treatment they need.

Dr. Clark
Latest posts by Dr. Clark (see all)