Signs of Heroin Abuse [Infographic]

Some signs of heroin abuse are fairly obvious. However, some of them can be quite subtle, particularly if you don’t know what you’re looking for. If you believe your spouse may have a problem, it’s important to pay close attention to the following signs.

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Physical Signs of Heroin Abuse

You may already know that heroin is an opiate that users generally inject or smoke in order to feel euphoria. More often than not, Men “graduate” to heroin use after starting out with prescription drugs. When pills run out or become inaccessible, individuals resort to buying heroin on the street. In essence, they’re replacing prescription drug abuse with heroin abuse.

It can be difficult to know whether or not your spouse is exhibiting signs of heroin abuse, but physical signs are usually the first cues. His or her skin may be flush, or pupils may appear to be smaller. You may also notice that your husband or wife is constantly sluggish, to the point where he or she may begin nodding off or slurring speech during conversations.

Behavioral Signs of Heroin Abuse

Unlike physical signs, behavioral signs are more subjective. While increased moodiness and social withdrawal don’t necessarily point to a problem, they’re certainly red flags if you combine them with the physical signs.

Additionally, keep an eye out for changes in the way your spouse dresses. If he or she begins wearing longer sleeves—particularly if it’s warmer outside—your spouse could be hiding track marks.


While physical and behavioral signs of heroin abuse can be subjective, paraphernalia usually isn’t. Finding miscellaneous items like syringes, empty baggies, and rubber tubing are all signs of a problem. Also, while it’s less common, finding small glass pipes could indicate that your loved one is smoking the substance.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

You may be wondering why your husband or wife can’t quit using heroin. Aside from the fact that addiction is a debilitating mental illness, heroin withdrawal symptoms also complicate the recovery process. While the withdrawal process generally isn’t life-threatening at a professional detox facility, it can be painful. In fact, the threat of pain from quitting can make using seem like a better alternative.

How You Can Help Your Spouse Seek Help

If you believe your spouse is struggling with heroin addiction, many people take a “get help now or else” approach. While their hearts are in the right places, taking this ultimatum-like approach can push your loved one further away. Instead, ensure your loved one that you’ll be there for him or her. Reaching out to Serenity Lodge in California is one of the best ways to do this.

Located in California, our gender-responsive men’s ’s addiction rehab program has helped numerous individuals overcome heroin addiction and live more fulfilling lives. We offer an array of treatment options for heroin and other addictions, including:

If you believe your loved one is exhibiting signs of heroin abuse, take action before it’s too late. Call Serenity Lodge now at (855) 932-4045.

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