I thought I was really smart about drugs and what to look out for...boy was I surprised and shocked when I found out my daughter was a heroin addict. I read all the information about different types of drugs, drug paraphernalia, the effects of drugs, what they look like, etc. I'm what you call a dumb parent. There are many signs of heroin use but I didn't see them until it was too late. According to http://www.theantidrug.com/ei/signs_symptoms.asp changes in mood, temper, and sleeping routines are common in teens. They have compiled a list of everyday things to look for...which could be a sign of drug use, depression or simply just being a teenager.
What I now know is that its difficult to tell physically ...but there are some telltale signs that my daughter exhibited but I just ignored them thinking they were normal teenage mood swings and that she would grow out of them. Right, she grew into something she couldn't get out of - HEROIN.
These are some of the things I noticed but didn't really think anything about it...hopefully this list will help you make a determination before its too late. Continuously wearing long sleeve shirts [even in the summer], change in hygiene by not taking baths or showers as usual, wearing the same clothes, pin-sized pupils, small bruises on the arms [dime, quarter sized bruises], small red dots on the arms or hands [look closely, you'll see them]...being tired, nodding, puffy under eye area...throwing up [you might think they've been drinking]...itchy...face may break out and they may have sores on their arms and face from scratching themselves...flu-like symptoms...achy muscles, always cold, etc. If you find bottled water, straws, small bags, bottle caps, etc. in their room they are using heroin. And, remember that heroin is addictive no matter how its used [snorted, smoked or by using a needle]. Do you have any others?