Heroin use and addiction is problematic for all ages, but it can be a particular challenge for college students. Learning to spot and identify the signs of heroin use can make it easier to know when to seek help for yourself or for a loved one.
Signs of Heroin Use: Changes to Sleep Patterns
One of the biggest ways to identify heroin abuse among college students—or any age group—is to look for changes to sleep patterns. Individuals using heroin might be plagued by fatigue, and they may constantly act drowsy or complain about tiredness.
More specifically, heroin use can lead to a condition known as “nodding”, or when users alternate quickly between periods of being asleep and being awake. Heroin use slows the respiratory system, making it difficult to tell if someone is asleep or unconscious.
Signs of Heroin Use: Behavioral or Personality Changes
Another way to identify heroin use among college students is to pay attention to behavioral or personality changes. Heroin use isn’t easy to hide, and it can impact college students in a number of ways.
Personality changes may be obvious. College students who were once outgoing and friendly might retreat and become sullen. College students who were once bookish and eager to discuss their classes might exhibit a drop in scholastic performance.
Heroin use can also cause behavioral shifts among college students. Staying up far later than normal, missing important family events or skipping social activities might be a sign of heroin use or addiction. Students who undergo a change in physical appearance, whether it’s rapid weight loss or reduced grooming, is also a red flag.
Signs of Heroin Use: Physical Side Effects
Heroin use among college students can also be identified through physical signs and symptoms. Whether you’re a parent or a friend, look for the following signs of drug use:
- Collapsed veins
- Chronic exhaustion or fatigue
- Dry mouth
Certain Drug Paraphernalia Can Point to Heroin Use
Another way to spot heroin use is to seek out paraphernalia that might indicate a drug problem. Heroin can be sniffed, injected or smoked, and each method utilizes certain common items. If you spot things like needles and syringes, straws with burn marks, small plastic baggies or burned spoons, those are obvious signs of heroin use.
There may also be signs of heroin use right on the body of college students. For instance, collapsed veins point to multiple injections. Needle or burn marks on the arm, the most common injection site, might also indicate heroin use.
Have questions regarding heroin use for yourself or a loved one?
Call 877.634.7849 to speak with an admissions counselor.