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Warning Signs of Heroin Misuse

There are several behavioral warning signs that someone may be using heroin. Some of these include, changes in attire, increased lying, changes in friends, withdrawal from friends and family, increase in secrecy, lethargy, droopy eyes, dry mouth, sweating, lack of appetite, scratching arms and face, disorientation, and a low, slow voice. Some of the long-term consequences include collapsed veins, HIV/AIDS, runny nose, track marks on arms, and abscesses.

Heroin in our community

Behavioral Warning Signs

  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Decrease in school or work performance
  • Quits hobbies or activities they once enjoyed
  • Sudden chance in attire
  • Aggressive behavior towards loved ones
  • Increased secrecy
  • Increased time spent sleeping

View more warning signs

Profile of an Individual Struggling with Substance Misuse


Imagine this…Your teenage daughter is, by all accounts, a good kid. She maintains a 3.6 grade point average. She's a member of the student council and plays on the softball team. You squabble over her messy room and her texting at the dinner table, but you know this is normal. You're not entirely sure about her new group of friends, but you don't let yourself worry too much. She's never been in trouble. Then, one day, you notice track marks on her arm. "Not my kid," you think. "It's impossible." But unfortunately, it isn't. Over the past few years, this scenario is heard all too often.

Read more about signs in teenagers


Read the story of "Deon." An individual who grew up in a home where life could get crazy. His mother was addicted to alcohol. This story is based on the experiences of real people whose names have been changed.

​"After a while, I needed heroin just to get by. Too long without a fix, and…I can't even describe it."

Read more Deon's story

Understanding Heroin in Our Community

Risks Associated with Substance Misuse

Along with the short-term impacts of substance misuse or heroin addiction, there are long-term health applications that can come with addition.


Endocarditis is an inflammation or infection in the heart valves or the heart's inner lining (endocardium). Intravenous Drug Misuse Endocarditis occurs in individuals who share contaminated needles and syringes while using illegal drugs. The infection may enter the bloodstream through the injection site (arm, hand, or between toes) and attack the lining of the heart or the heart valves. This infection can occur at any age, but it generally affects young adults who are addicted to the usage of injectable drugs.

The signs and symptoms could include:

  • low-grade fever
  • fatigue
  • joint pain
  • stroke (sudden weakness of limbs or face due to disruption of brain's blood supply)
  • cardiac arrhythmias
  • damage to kidney and spleen

Treatment of Endocarditis:

The treatment of Intravenous Drug Misuse Endocarditis is based on the organism type causing the infection. Bacterial infection is treated through intravenous antibiotics and fungal infection using antifungal medication. Surgery may be required in some cases. If left untreated, this condition is almost always fatal. With appropriate early diagnosis and treatment, the outcomes are better. However, the prognosis also depends upon a set of factors including the type of organism causing infection, the health status of the individual, and the presence of any heart illnesses, among other factors.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is a group of problems that occur in a newborn who was exposed to addictive opiate drugs while in the mother's womb. This is characterized by low birth weight, breathing and feeding problems, and seizures. Our goal is to decrease the number of babies born dependent upon opioids.

If live in the state of Indiana and need assistance, 2-1-1 is a confidential service that helps Hoosiers connect to the resources that they need.

Watch video to learn more


The term drug overdose or "OD" describes the ingestion or application of a drug or other substance in quantities greater than are recommended. A heroin user's chances of overdose are heightened if they have had some time of sobriety; even if the sobriety was forced, it increases his or her chance of overdosing because tolerance to the drug has decreased. The times of sobriety may include jail time, treatment, or chosen sobriety. Read more about the signs and symptoms of use here.

Treatments of overdoes:

Narcan has been used in emergency rooms and EMS for more than forty years as an antidote for opiate overdoses. When administered, it kicks opiates out of the brain by blocking certain receptor sites. The effects of Narcan wares off between 30-60 minutes after administration. In comparison, heroin lasts 6-8 hours, methadone lasts 24 hours, opiates outlast Naloxone.

Outpatient Behavioral Health

Taking Action | Ways to get help

Harm Reduction Program

Harm Reduction Program

The Wayne County Health Department Harm Reduction Program is designed to review a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at Reducing Negative Consequences associated with drug use. 78% of patients who attend spoke with someone about services to help with their addiction problem. All patients are offered FREE HIV & Hepatitis C testing. Click here for more information.
Wayne County Syringe Services Program

Wayne County Syringe Services Program

The Wayne County Syringe Services Program is a partnership between Reid Health, Wayne County Health Department and Centerstone. The program allows for free and confidential exchanges. As part of the program, available resources include Insurance navigators, free HEP C & HIV testing, and referrals for treatment.Click for more information.
Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-Assisted Treatment

This is the use of FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a "whole-patient" approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. The FDA has approved 3 medications for treatment of opioid use disorders. Methadone: daily liquid dispensed in specially regulated clinics Naltrexone: daily pill or monthly injection, office-based Buprenorphine: daily dissolving tablet, cheek film, or 6-month implant under the skin, office-based
Community Resources

Community Resources

There are many community organizations to help you get connected with the resources that you need.