Signs of heroin use?


New Member
It's with a heavy heart, general anxiety and panic attacks rolling like waves that I ask this question. My daughter was into cocaine and crystal meth before her treatment programs (two years in programs and 18 mos sober) and now she is hanging out with someone she says is "sober" a year, a recovering heroin addict. However there are signs like sleeping a lot, change in personality and friends etc. Ugh, I don't know how I can mentally and physically go through this again. Any advise would be appreciated!


Active Member

I don't have any first-hand experience with heroin. My son was into pot for most of his drugging days, but then got into crack for about 6 weeks until he entered an Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

From what I've read, it's quite different than the cocaine signs. Here's a website I found that gives some of the indicators ...

As you've dealt with the drug issue before with your daughter, I can only imagine how heavy your heart is thinking she is drugging again. Substance abuse is a horrible thing, and it has far reaching impacat on the abuser, but also on those around the abuser. It's hard to watch someone self-destructing.

New friends and changing personality would be huge indicators for me, and I'm sure you know that. Is she working? Does she seem to be having severe mood shifts? Do you think she'd agree to help, since she's gone through this before?

I'm sending you many hugs. I know this must be worrying you, even if it's just a suspicion right now.

Keep us posted. We're here for you.


New Member
Sending support and big Hugs
I also have a child who is sober 10 months and the thoughts of her using again are a constant reminder that addiction is a life-time struggle. Does she attend NA meetings? My difficult child used to attend a meeting a, not really at all. I wonder about her as I missed so many of the signs before. I don't think she is using.....but what could I do if she was? I think my plan for that is to ask her, to keep the lines of communication open, to not be judgmental, to be "a teacher, not a preacher" to her. It's hard. I hope you are wrong but usually our instincts are on target with these things. Hoping that if that is the case, she will get help.
In the meantime, stay strong by taking care of yourself.



New Member
My difficult child is a heroin addict and the signs that I see in him when he is using is he looks very thin, his eyes are always red and last time I saw him he had big dark circles under his eyes that he tried to pass off as the fact that he's been working 3rd shift and doesn't sleep good, but then as I was doing his laundry when he came for a visit, I found stuff in his pocket that told me he was using again. He hasn't lived home in over a year now, but when he did he slept alot and had no ambition to do anything with his life. He went into rehab and when he was truly clean he looked healthy, he gained weight and the whites of his eyes were so white that I realized when I saw them how many signs I had missed. I used to walk into his room and find him nodding off all the time sitting up. He was clean for awhile. He went from rehab to a soberhouse then into an apartment with two other guys in recovery, but he now knows he got out to quick. He has admitted to relapsing now and then, enough to know where he's headed and is looking into what he needs to do for himself before he ends up at the point he was last year.
The only thing you can do at this point is pray that you are wrong, keep your eyes and ears open and don't enable her in any way. If you find you are right then you have to make it clear to her that you will only support her good choices and not the bad.
Do you ever go to alanon? I found it very helpful last year when I first found out about my sons addiction.
I hope you are wrong as I know how dissapointing it is to know they are using again after a length of being clean.


Active Member
weight loss

missing items in your house

bad temper, bad moods


(i never noticed the red eyes, he never appeared "high" by the time he got home. I think it wore off before he got home.)

throwing up

never having any money

A dose of heroin costs about $7- $8, Alex used to ask me for $8 so he could go out to lunch.

a cough

These are the things that come to mind immediately. I will add more if I can think of any later today. The cough and throwing up I think happened when he didn't have any or was trying to stop.

Sorry you are suspecting this. Heroin is a nasty drug that can totally take over their lives.


New Member
Thank you everyone for your support and helpful links. I have not seen her in person for a week but spoke on the phone last night and I calmly told her that she needs to stop by the drug testing lab this week for a test and she agreed to it. We shall see! She sounded exhausted and congested. She's also had definite mood swings the last week.

We are supporting her financially at a local college and have an agreement that she needs to keep a B average, get a job and stay drug free. It's been two months and she hasn't gotten a job yet so we need to have that talk too. I wish I'd set a deadline. I also wish we'd started drug testing earlier but there was no indication that she was using and she was regularly attending meetings with sober friends. My ExH met the guy she is hanging out with and he said he's a shady characture. He wore a sweatshirt with a hood that he did not take off his head when he met him - it was 90 degrees out. My D avoided eye contact with her dad. He is very worried too.

Ugh, although I don't know for sure I hate feeling this way. It's affecting me mentally and physically. I can't eat or sleep. There is an Alanon meeting tonight that I will go to. It's a "parents" meeting so it's a good one.

Thanks for listening.


New Member
I'm glad you are getting to a parent alanon meeting. That is the only type I have attended because I knew everyone in the room truly understood me.
Yup, the hood never coming off in 90 degree weather tells me he's pretty shady.
It's also not to late to set deadlines now. You can talk to her about the fact that she doesn't have a job yet and set a dealine now. Sometimes that is what they need.
I haven't seen my difficult child in about a month now and I'm planning on seeing him on Friday because it just happens I'll be in his neck of the woods for another reason, so I'm going to make some plans with him. He didn't look good last time I saw him, so I'll know when I see him this time if there is a difference or not. When he was living at home last year and I saw him everyday, the changes in her were not as evident to me as when he left home. When you only see them every few weeks, then you can really notice a difference in the right away.

Take care of yourself and get to alanon.


New Member
She called 15 minutes after I spoke to her and said she did cocaine/pot on Friday and Saturday night. I will have her test tomorrow when it should (the coke) be out of her system. I still want her tested for heroin use. We are having a family meeting (all four parents) tonight which she said is the last place she wants to be (I'd rather be at the Alanon meeting myself). I told her how I have felt the last few days is the last place I have ever wanted to be.

Deep breathing....


Well-Known Member
Sending cyber support. Sounds like you are on top of it.
I'm sure you would rather hide under the bed! Hugs. DDD


New Member
The family meeting went okay. She was upset and remorseful. She admitted it was a weekend bender from Thursday night to Monday. She is being tested today so we will know if she is telling the truth about it being cocaine/pot. She said in the interest of "coming clean" and being honest she wanted to reveal something to us. Then she showed us two tattoos she had gotten. Ugh.

We are going to have her randomly tested (lab nearby) and if she fails a test then she will be financially cut off and will have to go to sober living or make her own living arrangements. We also gave her a deadline of finding a job by Saturday and following up with making an appointment with the therapist I found her.

I am so sick and tired of all this (as I'm sure everyone else on this site feels!) I'm sick of the ongoing drama and disruption in our lives and tired of always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have made an appointment with a therapist for myself and plan on going to as many Alanon meetings as I can.

Thank you all for listening. It really helps.


Active Member
Don't forget, pot can stay in the system for sometimes 30days or so. If companies drug test, like they do hear, she'll have a hard time passing the test.

sending mega (((sunny hugs))) as we know what it's like when they relapse.