Addiction Warning Signs & Symptoms

No one starts using heroin without warning signs. We know substance use disorder is a disease that progresses until it is out of control. A key risk factor is the misuse of prescription pain killers.

Anyone may use drugs, anyone can become addicted and anyone can overdose. Pay attention to significant changes in you or your family member’s physical appearance, attitude or behavior.

Physical Signs

  • Decreased respiratory rate
  • Intense flu-like symptoms such as: Nausea, vomiting, sweating, shakes of hands, feet or head, large pupils
  • Loss or increase in appetite; unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Non-responsive state - drowsiness
  • Small pupils

Behavioral Signs

  • Avoiding contact with family
  • Change in activities, hobbies or sports
  • Change in attitude/personality
  • Change in friends; new hangouts
  • Drop in grades or work performance
  • Isolation and secretive behavior
  • Moodiness, irritability, nervousness, giddiness
  • Stealing
  • Wearing long sleeved shirts out of season

Advanced Warning Signs

  • Burnt or missing spoons/bottle caps
  • Missing medications
  • Missing shoe laces/belts
  • Small bags with powder residue
  • Syringes