Greg: What’s going on everyone? It’s Greg and Matt here from Project Unbroken. As you know, we’re former heroin addicts. I’m about seven years off heroin, Matt’s about 10. And, today we’re going to be talking about five the five biggest things that you should be looking for if someone is struggling with opiate or heroin addiction.
So, Matt, number one.
Matt: I think one of the biggest things that Greg and I would recommend to keep an eye out for, are big mood swings and maybe changes in sleeping pattern, just general mood, I guess. If you see it kind of fluctuating up and down pretty dramatically, it’s something to look out for. A lot of times that can be a sign of somebody starting to go through withdrawal and then fixing that with getting high, and they’re back up in the clouds again, feeling good.
Also, if it’s somebody that you’re close to and you know their general demeanor, if that starts to change, keep an eye out for it. A lot of times, somebody who’s typically, you know, whatever, maybe a little bit melancholy day-to-day, which is completely normal. If all of a sudden they’re in a really great mood all the time, it’s a red flag.
Greg: Yeah, especially the big ups and downs like Matt said. I know when I was using I would not feel good. I would be withdrawing. Mom, “But what’s wrong? “I just don’t feel good.” And, then 10 minutes later I had my heroin and I come downstairs and I’m all happy and cheery. It’s the complete opposite of where I was before. So, that’s a big one is the big mood swings, like big ups and downs.
Number two, I think, is change in social circles. Now, this is a really big one. If there’s a big change of who your child is hanging out with or your loved one is hanging out with all of a sudden, that’s something that can definitely be a red flag. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing, but it’s something you want to look for with the other signs.
Matt: I know that when I was in my heroin addiction, and this is true for a lot of people that I’ve talked to, you don’t want to be hanging around people that are not on heroin. There’s always a level of kind of shame that comes around with it. You don’t feel good being around people that are not doing it. So, if you see that somebody’s not hanging out with their friends that they’ve known for a long time, all of a sudden or just kind of turning down invitations to certain different events or birthday parties or whatever it is, it might be something to look into.
Matt: The third one is just financial trouble. And, this one, on its own it’s not necessarily a big red flag, but when you see somebody maybe starting to ask for more money or ask to borrow money or ask to borrow the gas card to fill up their tank or just little things here and there. You can just see they’re struggling financially. It can be a pretty big red flag. In an opiate addiction, pretty much all of the addict’s money is going to go to whatever their heroin or pills or whatever it is. They’re not going to have much around for anything else. So, if you see them really become financially strapped or just very irresponsible, take a look into it.
Greg: Number 4 is physical changes. Anytime someone is using opiates or heroin, when they’re using, their pupils will get very small. So, look for pinpoint pupils. Another thing I’ve noticed is kind of like the dark circles around the eyes, when they’re almost like … Their eyes just look really dark. They just don’t look right. If you’ve ever seen someone on heroin, like a picture of a heroin addict, maybe withdrawing or whatever the case, you notice their eyes, just kind of like dark, like they’re kind of empty.
Also, sudden weight changes, if they’re losing weight. You can even look for track marks. Now, we weren’t shooting, so you wouldn’t have found the track marks on us, but a lot of people do shoot, and they’ll start noticing red dots around here, usually people start here or on the top of their hand. That’s the most common places for people to start shooting. So, again, arm in here, in this region, or top of the wrist.
Matt: Hey, guys. The fifth thing to look for is just your gut instinct. If you see one of the things that we talked about or a few of them, and you just have a bad feeling about it, start looking a little bit deeper. If this is a friend or a loved one or somebody that you really care about, which usually is the case when it’s somebody that you’re worried about using heroin or opiates with, you’ll have to kind of invade their privacy a little bit. And, as far as Greg and I are concerned, it’s for their own good.
Dig a little deeper. See what’s going on. See why you have a bad feeling about it. And, again, maybe just the financial troubles or the sunken in eyes is because they lost their job, and they’re struggling with school or something like that. It could not be a big deal, but it could also mean that they’re in something that could be really dangerous for their health.
Greg: Definitely. And, again, look for these signs together as well. The more of these signs you see together, the more likely it is that they’re using opiates or heroin. And, like Matt said, you just got to kind of use your gut instinct with that.
Matt: So, I think that will cover it, guys, for the five red flags to keep an eye out for, for somebody in an opiate addiction. If you guys have anything to add or any questions about this topic, leave us a comment. Hit us up on the contacts section at projectunbroken.com and we will be talking to you soon.
Greg: See you everyone.