What do Heroin Eyes Look Like?
People frequently wonder what the signs and symptoms of opioid use are, because of the epidemic that’s taken hold around the U.S.
Drugs like heroin were once seen as being outside of the mainstream, and only used by fringe elements of society, but that’s all changed, in large part because of the flood of prescription opioids that occurred in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Many people who started out abusing prescription painkillers move to heroin, and it leaves their families desperately searching for signs of their drug use that will give them an answer.
One of the signs that’s most frequently recognized are “heroin eyes.” So what do heroin eyes look like, and what causes them? Below is general information about the signs of heroin use, and more specifically, heroin eyes.
There are both physical and behavioral signs of heroin use that people can often spot. Some of the appearance-related signs of heroin use include nodding off, breathing that seems slow, flushed skin and runny nose.
People on heroin may also vomit or scratch, have poor grooming or hygiene habits, or cover their arms and legs with long sleeves, even when the weather is warm. Weight loss, scabs or sores on the skin, and slurred speech may also be signs of heroin abuse.
Sudden weight loss, dark circles under the eyes, burn marks on the fingers or hand, and puffiness under the eyes may indicate a problem with heroin also.
So what about heroin addict eyes? Sometimes the most notable physical signs of heroin use are the heroin effects on the eyes.
People who use heroin will often have very small pupils, and their eyes can seem sleep or almost droopy. Heroin effect on eyes may also include making them appear red and bloodshot.
It’s unfortunately all-too-common for people to be on the lookout for heroin overdose signs including heroin overdose pupils, as the number of overdose deaths from opioids like heroin continues to rise in the U.S.
Sometimes it can be tough to determine if someone is just high on heroin, or is experiencing an actual overdose.
Some of the signs of a heroin overdose include slack, droopy muscles, loss of consciousness, awake but unable to speak, and breathing that’s slow, shallow, erratic or seems to have stopped altogether. Other signs of a heroin overdose can include choking sounds, or sounds like snoring or gurgling, vomiting, pale, clammy skin, and a bluish or purplish tin to fingernails and lips. Heroin overdose pupils also tend to appear very small.
This is often referred to as heroin pinpoint pupils, or people might say heroin eyes are pinned. Basically, this just means pupils might be no bigger than a pinprick.
Certain drugs make your eyes dilate, which means your pupils become abnormally large. When eyes get very large, it’s called mydriasis, and this usually happens if you take cocaine, amphetamines or marijuana. When drugs cause pupils to dilate, it can last for several hours or even days.
So, does heroin make your eyes dilate?
The answer is no. Opiates including heroin make your pupils constrict, which is called miosis.
As was mentioned above, heroin eyes tend to look drowsy or droopy, with very small “pinpoint” pupils. Heroin eyes may also appear red or bloodshot, and they may have dark circles under them.
So what causes heroin eyes to look this way? Why do pupils constrict when people take opioids like heroin?
When heroin attaches to opioid receptors, it changes the functionality of your entire central nervous system. When pupils constrict or become small because of drug use, it means the drugs affect the parasympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system. Heroin eyes or pinpoint pupils can be one of the tell-tale signs of heroin or opioid use because the majority of other types of substances have the opposite effect and lead the pupils to appear larger.
The change in pupils seen in people who use heroin is because of how the drugs affect the autonomic nervous system, thus the term heroin eyes.
Have more questions about Heroin abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
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