Heroin is extremely addictive, and using this drug comes with a high risk for having an overdose. When you suspect that your son is using heroin, it is likely that you’ve already spotted a few clues that they might be struggling with substance misuse. People who use heroin often have several risk factors in place that may include having recently used prescription painkillers. Once their prescription runs out and they are no longer able to get a doctor to sign off on a refill, someone who is addicted may turn to street drugs to deal with their withdrawal symptoms. In many locations, heroin is surprisingly cheap, which can also be a reason for someone to move from using prescription opioids to heroin. If your son has an underlying mental health condition or has experimented with other drugs in the past, then they are also at a higher risk for using heroin. If you are wondering what you should be looking for if your son is using heroin, then you’ll want to remember that you don’t always need proof to initiate a conversation about their drug habits.
Your son could become addicted to heroin from the very first time that they try using it. They can also have an overdose the first time they use the drug, and this risk goes up as they increase their doses or mix it with other substances. While your son might have been able to hide using heroin for the first time, most people begin showing clear signs that they are dealing with a serious addiction.
Confirm Your Suspicions and Start Working On an Intervention
There are several things to look for if you suspect that your son is using heroin. The most obvious place to start is to look for physical cues on their body and around the house. If your son lives with you, then you might notice things such as discarded or hidden paraphernalia such as needles that they don’t have a known need to have. You may also find smoking utensils such as glass pipes along with spoons with odd residue that were used to heat up the heroin for injecting or inhaling the smoke. Mirrors, trays and other flat surfaces might be hidden in their room that they use to snort powdered heroin. There may also be a razor blade nearby that they use to arrange the heroin into lines.
Your son’s physical appearance may also yield clues to what they are doing. Someone who uses heroin may exhibit the following characteristics.
- Falling asleep without any warning, which is often referred to as nodding
- Having pinpoint pupils
- Experiencing changes in their breathing that include being slow, heavy or irregular
- Having slurred speech
- Experiencing constipation and abdominal discomfort
One of your biggest concerns with heroin use is the possibility of a drug overdose. Even if you haven’t confirmed your suspicions, you can start taking action to protect your son by picking up a special type of medication that can stop and reverse the effects of an overdose. Naloxone is available in every state to purchase at most local pharmacies. Having this on hand could be your best option for saving your son’s life if you do find him struggling physically after you suspect that he used heroin.
In addition to picking up this lifesaving medication, you’ll want to start helping him get the appropriate treatment. Heroin is powerfully addictive, and the withdrawal symptoms are a major reason why people keep returning to using the drug. In a professional treatment center, your son will get help with the detox process along with professional counseling that gets the heart of why he is using the drug. You can plan to intervene by talking to him on your own, or you might want to plan a more formal intervention that includes other people that he loves. For a successful intervention, you’ll want to establish clear boundaries and expectations that include him seeking professional help. Having a number to call for intake right away is important for responding to your son’s needs immediately if he admits to using heroin. Acting instantly on his request for help is important for making sure that he doesn’t change his mind by the next day.
As a parent, your son’s wellbeing is one of your biggest priorities. Yet, you don’t have to deal with this alone. We’ve got counselors to help figure out if your son is using heroin and make sure that he gets the right treatment for an addiction. Give us a call today at 833-364-0736 to find an addiction treatment program for your son.