Physical Signs

drugs and needle on a table

Prescription Drug Opioid

  • Sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea (feeling sick to the stomach)
  • Inability to sleep
  • Constipation
  • Breathing problems

Heroin

  • Drowsiness
  • Respiratory depression 
  • Constricted pupils
  • Nausea
  • A warm flushing of the skin 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Heavy extremities

Fentanyl

  • Sedation
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Urinary retention
  • Pupillary constriction
  • Respiratory depression

Taking just 1 large dose of a prescription drug opioid could cause serious breathing problems that lead to death.

With regular heroin use, tolerance to the drug develops. Once this happens, the abuser must use more heroin to achieve the same intensity.  As higher doses of the drug are used over time, physical dependence and addiction to the drug develop. 

Fentanyl is abused in the same way as heroin, but it is much more potent. Users are often attracted to fentanyl’s strong, euphoric high. The addiction is very strong. Many users constantly seek out the drug to avoid withdrawal.

Source: Drug Enforcement Administration. Drugs of Abuse, 2017 Edition: A DEA Resource Guide. Accessed June 28, 2017. View here.