View random article

What Is Heroin Addiction?

Heroin addiction occurs when a person becomes dependent on heroin, which is a highly-addictive and illegal drug. Most people who use heroin would deny that they have an addiction problem. Signs of heroin addiction include:

Changes in Appetite

A person who is living with a heroin addiction usually doesn't feel like eating very much. It's not uncommon for a heroin addict to lose 20 lbs during the first year of the addiction. The heroin addict may also develop a sudden craving for foods with a high sugar content.

Changes in Sleep Patterns

The heroin addiction may alter the person's sleep patterns and make them stay up well into the night. As the addiction progresses, the person may not seem to sleep at all.

Scratch Marks

Using heroin releases histamine in the body, which causes itching. Scratch marks on the face, arms and legs may be signs of heroin addiction. As the heroin addict continues to use the drug, the skin may become infected. His or her eyes take on a glassy quality and the person may have dark circles due to lack of sleep. The skin on the face becomes tight and the eyelids appear droopy.

Compulsive Lying and Manipulation

These signs are very common among addicts. Even if they are caught with the drug, they are likely to deny that it is theirs or even what it is. Addicts often try to manipulate the people in their lives, and heroin addicts are no exception.

Constricted Pupils

One definitive sign of the presence of heroin addiction is pinpoint pupils. A non-user's pupils will dilate at night or under darkened conditions. A person who has a heroin addiction will become very small and stay that way. During the withdrawal stage, the pupils appear to be dilated.

Featured in Health