Heroin Addiction: Symptoms

I was reading something on a website today about how to know if your child is a heroin addict.  It was asking:  does your child need to do heroin every day?  Do they carry a constant supply?  do you see track marks in their arms?

I get the point but…these aren’t the items I would list.  First off — if they’re doing it, they’re probably addicted.  Period.  Second, you probably aren’t going to know if they have a supply, and tracks, sure, that’s an obvious one.  But what about the less obvious, beginning signs?  Here’s my list (in no particular order) (note:  no one symptom means your child is a heroin addict, but they are strong clues, especially if you can say yes to two or three at a time):

  1. You can’t figure out where all your spoons went.  Didn’t you have eight teaspoons in your set?  Maybe one went missing but five?  “Kids — have you seen our spoons?”
  2. Almost all teens sleep late.  But your teen stays in bed until 3PM and now hangs blankets over his/her bedroom windows to keep out every trace of sunlight.  When you complain they slur, “Jeez mom…it’s nothing…I just need to sleep.  Crap.  Leave me alone, it’s not a big deal.” 
  3. Two hours later they are up, awake, full of energy, happy, chatty, cleaning their room, and asking if they can run errands, (complete mood change).  And if you mention the blanket on the window thing, they’ll say yes, sure, okay … but they won’t actually take them down.
  4. Day one: “Mom, can I have money for cigarettes and gas?  I know you gave me some yesterday, but Joe’s mom needed some groceries so I lent him some money to pick them up for her.”  Day two: “Mom, can I have ten dollars for gas?  I know you gave me some yesterday but …”  Day three:  [you know the drill]
  5. I could swear I threw this belt away last week because it’s way to small for him.  What’s it doing on my son’s floor again?  Oh, and here’s the belt his brother was looking for the other day too.  And yet he never wears a belt when he needs to.  Darn kids.
  6. What’s with the little pieces of tin foil laying around these days?  Kids?  What are you doing??
  7. Their friends are just walking in the house without even knocking or saying hello to me.  When did I lose control of this household?
  8. He comes in at midnight like he said he would.  But then you hear the door open again at 2AM and again at 4AM … always another excuse.
  9. A needle in his bathroom cabinet.  Clearly.
  10. The once intelligent, loving boy is now a rebellious, lazy young man.  Face it.  Time to get help.

8 responses to “Heroin Addiction: Symptoms

  1. I kept yelling at my 7 year old for taking my spoons outside to dig in the flowerbed. She kept denying she was doing it.

    Spoons were my very first clue.

  2. A list that points to reality; however, quite often, when we are experiencing all these things, we are often in denial. I had money constantly disappearing from my bank account, and I blamed my husband; but didn’t want to question him, because it was after all his money. Then I realized the withdrawals were happening at 2 and 3 a.m. when my husband was fast asleep. The ATM card was being taken out of my husband’s wallet and being used; and yes; at that point, he knew the pin. Later, of course, we fixed that!

    • Yes, Lisa. I was in denial too. I have to constantly resist the temptation to scold myself for it. Hindsight is 20-20; I forgive myself for not being able to ever imagine what was really going on.

  3. Wish I had this list along time ago but I had no clue. One other one I found was – where are all my pens?

  4. This is one of the better lists that I have seen! It has all of the classic things that 99% of parents would not realize were signs their first time around. My mom is now an expert. Once she learned about my addiction and I was getting clean, I opened up the drawer to get a spoon and she said “I just bought new ones! Don’t even think about it! If I see another spoon missing you’re going back to rehab..” She was being half funny, but still very scared inside.

    I want to take the time to thank all Mothers and other family members of Heroin addicts. I feel so horrible and guilty now because of what I put my parents through. My Mother and Father saved my life!

    • Thanks for your response here! Good to hear from “the other side” that what I’m writing makes sense. Of course you know, now, that the only gift us parents of addicts want is for our kids to get clean and stay clean. The past is the past. Thanks for working to move your life forward!

  5. Pingback: Heroin Addiction Symptoms Hotline | Las Vegas Heroin Addiction Hotline

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