How to Know If a Child Is Using Heroin: The Warning Signs

How to Know If a Child Is Using Heroin: The Warning Signs

Is My Child Using Heroin?

child is using heroin

Heroin use among adolescents is increasing every year. In 2013 alone, close to 2% of all high school seniors admitted to abusing heroin. That doesn’t seem like a large number, until you consider 2% breaks down to almost 80,000 adolescents.

Heroin abuse is often one of the most destructive addictions, inside and outside your home. When your child uses heroin it can lead to a quick loss of control and downward spiral. Case-in-point, there were over 15,000 deaths attributed to heroin in 2010.

Have you asked yourself “is my child using heroin?” Learn the answer below.

How to Know if a Child is Using Heroin: Signs and Symptoms

There are many warning signs of a child using heroin. Like alcoholism, it’s a progressive disease. The difference between alcoholism and adolescent heroin addiction, though, is a quicker descent into unmanageability.

The following are some general ways to know if a child is using heroin.

School and Work Performance
When someone uses heroin it consumes their entire life. They don’t want to do anything but use, which results in skipping or missing school completely. It may also mean calling out of work.

Is your child using heroin? Well, have they dropped from an A student to an F student? Has their job performance decreased? Dropping out of college may also be a sign. A child once driven towards education may now be driven only towards their next fix.

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Changes in Friends and Peers
Heroin users typically hang out with other heroin users. If your child is spending a lot of time with sickly looking people, you may have your answer to “is my child using heroin?”

Once heroin consumes an adolescent’s life, they’ll want to be around people doing the same thing. By doing so, they feel accepted. Heroin addicts typically isolate themselves as well. Random people coming quickly in and out of your house can also be a sign of using, or selling, drugs.

Drug Paraphernalia
You can tell if a child is using heroin by checking their belongings. Heroin users carry things like: syringes, cotton swabs, lighters, spoons, small baggies, pipes, belts, rubber ties, scales, and foil. Large amounts of money may also be a sign.

using heroin

Financial Issues
Heroin users quickly burn through their money. Heroin starts as a cheap drug, which quickly turns expensive. A child using heroin may start to sell expensive personal items. They may use their savings. If you notice strange charges on your credit cards, or missing checks, your child may be using heroin.

Behavior Changes
If your child is using heroin, they’ll probably become extremely apathetic. They may exhibit irrational behavior. Anger, mood swings, anxiety, lying, stealing, avoiding eye contact, decrease in physical appearance and hygiene, cheating, and legal issues can all result from a child using heroin.

Physical Signs
If your child is using heroin, they’ll start to experience withdrawal after a period of not using. Signs of active heroin use include: track marks, pinpoint-size pupils, slurred speech, nodding out, weight loss, scabbed or bruised skin, flushed skin, and excessive sleep. Signs of heroin withdrawal include: vomiting, insomnia, severe itching, diarrhea, excessive sweating, and constant runny nose.

The Difference Between Heroin and Pain Pills

How to Help a Teen Addicted to Heroin

Confronting a child that’s using heroin is very difficult. Contacting a professional interventionist or counselor is a good place to start.

An intervention is a structured environment where you can talk to your child about their heroin use. During an intervention, you can set boundaries, and give consequences if they don’t seek help.

Talking to treatment centers, in Florida or elsewhere, will give you tips on how to approach a child using heroin. Many children won’t want help. They may think they don’t need it.

Confronting your child using heroin is uncomfortable, but necessary. Sometimes your child wants help, but is scared of admitting there’s a problem. Having a conversation will help in determining what route you and your child want to take to seek help.

Information about adolescent heroin addiction

Heroin Treatment Options for Teens


If your child is using heroin, there’s a good chance they’re unaware of the negative impact drug use has on their life. For that matter, they’re probably unaware of the negative impact it has on your life. Some may ask for help, but many are unaware of the severity of the disease, or the sickness of withdrawal.

If your child is already experiencing withdrawal, you’ll want the child using heroin to detox. Treatment is usually the next step. There are many types of treatment that can help with the recovery process. Through drug and alcohol treatment your child will learn about the disease of addiction and the solution to living a happy and meaningful life.

What’s the deal with codeine?

Have you asked yourself “is my child using heroin?” Do you have a child who may be abusing powerful opioids? At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we’ve been there.

In fact, many of our staff are in long-term recovery. We know what it’s like to be unable to stop binge drinking or compulsively using drugs. Let us show you another way, a sober way.

Call Lighthouse today at 1-844-I-CAN-CHANGE or 1-(561)-381-0015. You’ll be connected to a caring and expert outreach and admission coordinator who can help start the process of recovery.

Lighthouse Recovery Institute: Guiding You to a Brighter Tomorrow

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