SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ABUSE
While signs and symptoms of abuse may vary from person to person, most people exhibit certain symptoms and behavior indicative of an abuse problem. Signs of heroin abuse include:
• Behavioral changes
• Hyperactivity followed by fatigue
• Irresponsibility at work or school
• Wearing long shirts and pants even during warm weather
• Increased sleeping
• Slurred speech
• Track marks on arms or legs
• Weight loss
• Constant runny nose
• Scabs or bruises due to picking at the skin
Immediately after taking heroin, many users feel a “rushing” sensation of the drug entering the brain. Many people seek out heroin due to the quickness at which the drug enters the brain. Certain users of the drug also report the following effects after taking the drug:
• Heavy extremities
• Dry mouth
• Severe itching
Many individuals with a heroin problem will experience long-term effects, including:
• Infection of the heart valves and heart lining
• Liver disease
• Abscesses and skin infections
• Collapsed veins
• Scarred veins
• Disease of the kidneys
• Increased chances of overdosing
• Increased chance of contracting chronic diseases
• Increased chance of contracting viruses, such as HIV
WHY SO MANY DEATHS?
When a user takes heroin, he or she is not 100 percent sure what they are receiving. Heroin is very potent, and the drug is mixed with other compounds multiple times before it reaches users. Thus, it is difficult for users to know how much pure drug they have taken.
HOW TO GET HELP
24-hour Hope Line: 800-567-4673. The Hope Line, operated by the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties, provides crisis counseling and treatment referrals.
Text 741 741: Crisis counseling and treatment referrals.
We Care Regional Crisis Center, 797 S. Main St., Lima. Staffed by Coleman Professional Services, this 12-bed facility provides emergency and temporary care to those at risk of harm, from others or from themselves.
wecarepeople.org: MHRSB’s website has an Opiate Help tab that lists local counseling and treatment centers.
Pathways Counseling Center, 835 N. Locust St., Ottawa: Provides walk-in assessments for detox and counseling services and a 13-week intensive outpatient treatment program for those who qualify. Monday and Wednesday, 8:30-10:30 a.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m-8 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. 419-523-4300.
Premier Care, 2727 St. John’s Road, Suite D, Lima: Methadone treatment and counseling. Monday-Friday, 5 a.m-2 p.m.; Saturday, 6-10 a.m. Closed Sunday. 567-940-9145.
Ohio Helpline: 877-275-6364. Provides crisis counseling and treatment referrals for all 88 counties.
www.Startalking.Ohio.gov. The Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services’ Start Talking Youth Drug Prevention Intiative provides free tips, via e-mail, on how to talk to your child about alcohol and drug addiction.