Characteristics of Addiction Vs. Recovery – Heroin Addiction

addiction like a stormHeroin addiction is like a storm that comes in, takes over and turns them into someone they’re not.  It doesn’t matter if someone is addicted to heroin, opiates, benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin, Etc.) Cocaine, Gambling, Etc. – simply put, the characteristics of addiction are the same. This is because addiction isn’t defined by the substance or activity one engages in, addiction is actually a disease of the brain. To learn more, visit “Addiction Vs. Using Drugs: Why Addicts Can’t Just Stop Using Heroin“.

They say to hate the disease of addiction not the addict and this is true.  And while people shouldn’t be defined by their addiction, characteristics and traits of those living in active addiction are unmistakable and we think it’s important that family members and friends become aware of these so they can begin to advise their addiction suffering loved one to get the help and treatment they need.  After all, it may just save their lives.  So what are some of these characteristics

Characteristics of Addiction

addiction is slaveryThose who are currently engaging in heroin, drugs or whatever substance or activity they’ve become addicted to will exude certain characteristics and behaviors.  Family and friends should be on the lookout for these, especially if they are already aware of their loved ones’ heroin addiction.  Characteristics of heroin addiction can be physical or behavioral and they include but aren’t limited to the following below.  Note that some of the physical characteristics and attributes are more common to heroin and/or drug use than to activities like gambling.

  • Always making excuses
  • Making promises they never keep
  • Always tired or nodding out sometimes during mid conversation
  • Telling lies
  • Always asking for money, often coupled with lies or ridiculous reasons they allegedly need the money
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies they used to love to engage in
  • Manipulation
  • Theft
  • Getting into trouble with the law
  • Reckless driving and possible frequent accidents
  • Constricted or “pinned” eye pupils
  • Pale skin
  • Weight loss
  • Sunken in cheeks or eyes
  • Disappearing for hours at a time without telling anyone

The above is not an all exclusive list however, people who exude or display these attributes may have relapsed and/or living in active addiction to heroin, opiates, drugs, etc.

Characteristic of Those in Recovery or Those Who are “Clean”

Addiction can not be cured but it can be treated.  Those living in active recovery should and will exude many of the same characteristics to people who never used.  Attributes and characteristics are typically the opposite of those living in active addiction.  However, the below list focuses on those who have gone from active addiction to recovery.


  • Weight gain
  • Honoring their commitments
  • Keeping their promises
  • Telling the truth
  • Develops an interest in rebuilding relationships
  • Begins to engage in interests and hobbies
  • Develops an awareness and interest in bettering ones self
  • Works on establishing a routine
  • Looks for a job and/or works hard at their existing job
  • Wants to make money instead of always looking for hand-outs
  • Shows interest in other people’s lives
  • Looks for ways to contribute and/or help with things
  • Recognition of ones flaws and mistakes without making excuses
  • Takes responsibility and is accountable for ones own actions

Recovery is a marathon not a sprint.  It is a lifelong journey and a chance to reinvent ones self and rebuild damaged or potentially broken relationships.  It is a chance to cultivate new relationships and become a contributing member of society.  It’s a chance to become who you always wanted to be, to explore your dreams and live life to the fullest.

Addiction is treatable and while it is difficult to stop engaging in heroin or drug use, it can be done.  If you need help finding a quality treatment center or want some advice on getting help, please feel free to contact us.  See also our recommended addiction treatment centers and facilities.  If you’d like to garner input from other recovery addicts and/or find support, visit our anonymous heroin addiction & recovery discussion forum.

Written and Published By,

William – Publisher and Founder of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™
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“We are a community for recovering heroin addicts providing support and recommending the best treatments and clinics to people interested in conquering their addiction.”

3 thoughts on “Characteristics of Addiction Vs. Recovery – Heroin Addiction

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