Is it a problem?

Dependence on heroin and other opioids doesn’t happen overnight but usually develops over a period of continued substance use. Everyone’s level of dependence is different, and it can be difficult to realise when you’ve crossed the line from use to dependence.

Have a look at the list below. These are the kind of things which might be going on in your life when your drug use shifts into dependency.  The more you can identify with the things on this list, the more likely it is that you’re dependent.

  • "It's not just weekends"... I’m using heroin for longer periods.
  • "I need a lot more"... the same dose of heroin doesn’t give me the same feeling as it used to.
  • "I can’t seem to stop"... I’ve tried to stop using heroin but despite my efforts I have not been able to.
  • "They’ve said it’s a problem"... I’ve been asked by my partner or family to stop using heroin.
  • "I’m rattling"... I experience withdrawal symptoms (aches and pains, sweats, restlessness) when I stop using heroin.
  • "I can’t stop thinking about it"... I’ve got heroin – how I’m going to get it, when I’m going to get it – going around my mind all the time.
  • "I don’t want to but"... I’ve continued to use heroin/opioids despite negative consequences.
  • "It’s 24/7"... I spend lots of time and effort, even committing crime, to obtain or use heroin.
  • "It’s my main thing now"... I’ve missed work, stopped seeing non-drug-using mates or started going out just so that I can use heroin.