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Signs of heroin use, and how to get help

Heroin can be injected, smoked or snorted and produces a downer effect in its users. Here are signs a person using the drug may show:

. Nodding off and a lack of energy. Slowed and slurred speech

. Change in appearance, including not caring about being clean

. Shallow breathing

. Dry mouth

. Constricted or small pupils

. Substantially more time spent sleeping

. Sudden worsening of performance in school or work

. Loss of motivation and apathy toward future goals

. Withdrawal from friends and family, but spending more time with new friends with no natural ties

. Lack of interest in hobbies or favorite activities

. Repeatedly stealing or borrowing money from loved ones

Items used to intake the drug

. Needles or syringes not used for other medical purposes

. Burned silver spoons

. Aluminum foil or gum wrappers with burn marks

. Missing shoelaces that may be used to tie off injection sites

. Straws with burn marks. Small plastic pipes with white powdery residue. Water pipes or other pipes

Getting help

The state Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services has a resource guide at Included is a list of outpatient treatment centers. The Manchester sites are:

. Child and Family Services, for adolescents. Call 518-4001

. Families in Transition, for parenting and pregnant women. Call 641-9441

. Manchester Alcoholism and Rehabilitation Center, for ages 18 and older. Cal: 263-4207

. The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester, for adolescents and families. Call 668-4111

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