How Heroin Addiction Affects Families

How Heroin Addiction Affects Families

“People believe that heroin is super, but you lose everything: job, parents, friends, confidence, your home. Lying and stealing become a habit. You no longer respect anyone or anything.” 

(For parents and youth awareness.  Please read and share it with your friends and loved ones)

Substance abuse and addiction impact so many people in so many ways. They impact the individual who is abusing drugs or alcohol by diminishing their quality of life, destroying their physical and mental health, and leaving them often in a situation where they have no job or significant relationships remaining in their life.

Drugs and alcohol also heavily impact society in that they contribute to violence and cost money to deal with.

Of course, what’s often the case is that the group most affected by drug use is the family of the person who’s using. Substance abuse wreaks havoc on families in so many ways and destroys the lives of everyone who has a close relationship with the addict.

Heroin is no exception, and as the use of this drug is becoming more prevalent, we’re gaining first-hand knowledge as to how heroin addiction affects families.

Signs of Heroin Abuse

The family and loved ones of people who are using heroin may start to see certain red flags even before they know for sure what’s happening. Some of the signs of heroin abuse include:

  • People who are abusing heroin or other substances may start to be absent from commitments including family commitments and work or school. Adults who are in the midst of heroin addiction may start to have a reduced level of performance when they’re at work, while for younger people this can happen at school.
  • When someone is on heroin, they may start withdrawing from relationships that were previously important to them. For example, a married person who is on heroin may start to seem distant from their spouse, or younger people may either avoid friends or find a new group of friends.
  • Financial problems can start to become more apparent. People who are addicted to substances like heroin not only spend a lot of money buying drugs but may also be poor at making other decisions related to finances.

Of course, these are just a few of the signs family and loved ones may notice if someone is doing heroin.

How Heroin Affects Parents

Heroin use is on the rise among most demographic groups in the U.S., and that includes adolescents and teens. It’s becoming more commonly used in suburban areas as well, meaning heroin addiction is impacting many parents.

The ways how heroin addiction can affect parents of addicts include leaving them feeling emotionally drained and depressed. Parents may find that their teen or adult child is stealing money or items from them to sell in order to buy heroin. Their teen may also become elusive and dishonest.

When young people abuse drugs, they’re more likely also to be involved in risky criminal or sexual activity, so parents of addicts may find that they’re often bailing their child out of trouble, or trying to extract them from dangerous situations.

How Heroin Affects Spouses

Also relevant to the discussion of how heroin affects families is to look at how it affects spouses. The use of drugs including heroin is responsible for a large number of divorces annually. It’s difficult to maintain romantic relationships with someone who is on heroin because the drug is often the addict’s first priority.

There is also an increased chance of domestic violence and abuse when someone is married to a heroin addict, and it can be difficult financially as well.

Married couples where one or more spouse is grappling with an addiction to heroin may find that there are issues including job loss and bankruptcy and in many cases even homelessness. Spouses of addicts often feel like they live in a toxic environment, and have to shoulder most or all of the duties of the household.

Codependency is also a way how heroin addiction affects families. With codependency, a spouse will often put the needs of the addict ahead of their own, even when it’s harmful to them. Codependent spouses of addicts will often lie or cover for the addict, which enables the addict to continue using more easily.

How Heroin Affects Children

As much as parents and spouses of heroin addicts can be affected by drug use, perhaps no group has more long-lasting damage done to their lives than the children of heroin addicts. Children of people with substance abuse problems are more likely to experience physical and sexual abuse in the home, and having a parent who is addicted to heroin can lead to problems with self-esteem, guilt, anxiety, and fear of abandonment.

Heroin addict affects families by increasing the likelihood of children having various behavioral issues, the home life may be unstable, and children can be neglected as a result of the addiction. Children who have parents addicted to heroin are also more likely to themselves develop mental disorders and substance abuse problems.

The ways how heroin addict affects families is far-reaching and can be incredibly damaging. It’s important to try and seek help before heroin addiction becomes so problematic that the consequences can’t be remedied.

How Long Does Heroin Stay in the System?

Heroin has a short half-life and can be detected in the following tests:

  • Depending on the test used, heroin can be detected in urine up to two to seven days after use
  • In blood and saliva, heroin is typically detectable for five to six hours after the last use but can be detected for up to two days.
  • Hair follicle tests can detect heroin use up to three months after the last use.

How Do I Know If Someone Is On Heroin?

How to know whether or not someone is on heroin is an all-too-common question today, when much of the U.S. is facing a heroin epidemic. Every day there are tragic stories of people who overdose on heroin, and many ultimately die. Public policymakers, law enforcement, and families are searching for ways to deal with the heroin crisis that’s occurring in some many places in the United States, including when it impacts their own loved ones.

Research shows the use of heroin has been significantly increasing over the past decade, and the number of people who used heroin for the first time in 2012, when some of the most recent statistics are available, doubled from the number in 2006. What was once thought of as a drug primarily used in inner cities is now becoming increasingly common in suburbs and rural areas.


Click the image to learn about drugs


What Happens When Someone Is On Heroin?

When someone first does heroin, they will experience a euphoric rush or high. Along with that high, which is short-lived, there are other physical symptoms and signs that someone is on heroin.

These can include flushed skin and dry mouth. People who have just used heroin may also seem to nod off for no reason at all, and alternate between consciousness and semi-consciousness.  Their mental function tends to appear clouded and confused as well.

Nodding off is one of the most common and observable signs that can indicate if someone is on heroin. It’s difficult for people to stay in a conversation, they may have a hard time remembering things that happened just moments before, and it seems as if they’re falling asleep.

When someone is on heroin, they also may have tiny pupils, often as small as a pinpoint.

Eventually, other signs and symptoms of heroin use may appear. Someone who uses heroin over a prolonged period may experience abscesses where they’re injecting the drug, collapsed veins and various infections. Like other opioid users, people who use heroin may also have constipation and digestive issue.

Eventually, long-term health issues with heroin use can include diseases of the liver, kidney, and lungs, as well as infections around the heart.

Other Ways You Can Tell If Someone Is On Heroin

Using heroin, since it is so addictive, is one of those drugs that can be difficult to hide from the people around the addict.

First, if someone is on heroin, paraphernalia is often discovered, particularly if they inject the drug. Heroin paraphernalia can include little bowls used to dissolve heroin in water, cotton, and needles.

Track marks are also one of the most common signs of heroin use, and they can be found not just on the inside of the arm, but also behind the knees and between toes.

Behavioral signs and symptoms of heroin use may include a loss of focus or interest on anything other than the drug. When someone is addicted to heroin if often becomes their sole focus, and they will think about little else. Work or school responsibilities will become less important, people who use heroin will withdraw from their previous social connections, and they will often engage in illegal activities either to fuel their habit or because their judgment is clouded due to using the drug.

With heroin, along with the general signs that someone is using the drug, understanding the signs of a heroin overdose can also be important. When someone overdoses on heroin, they will lose consciousness and can’t be woken. They will often start to turn a blue color, and they will have very shallow breathing, or they will stop breathing altogether. If this occurs, it’s essential to call 911 immediately.

If you’re wondering whether someone is on heroin and you see several of the above signs of heroin use or addiction, it’s important to speak with a medical professional or contact a treatment facility. Heroin addiction an issue ends in death for many users, but recovery is possible.

Courtesy: The Recovery Village – (For parents and youth awareness.  Please read and share it with your friends and loved ones)

Leave a comment
Stay up to date
Register now to get updates on promotions and coupons.

Shopping cart