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Parents: learn the signs of heroin addiction.

Cindy is a mother in our community. Her daughter is a heroin addict who has been struggling with addiction for more than seven years.

Nicole was an honor student, on the homecoming court and was a skilled photographer in high school. She earned a photography scholarship to a university in Washington, D.C. It was there that a friend introduced her to heroin.

Cindy brought Nicole back home after seeing the signs of heroin use and heroin addiction. Like many parents of heroin addicts, Cindy tried for years to help her daughter and prevent her from using heroin. She put a GPS on Nicole’s phone. She followed her to friends’ houses. She became aware of the signs of heroin use and systematically searched Nicole’s room, her clothes, old purses for heroin and drug paraphernalia. She confronted Nicole and got her into treatment programs.

But every time Nicole entered treatment, she came out and relapsed. It seemed that Heroin was too strong.

But recognizing that no one WANTS to be an addict and that addiction is a disease is vital to being able to fight on behalf of the people that you care about. They cannot do it alone.

Ultimately, Cindy says all parents can do is make it as hard as possible for their child to use. Don't give them money. Take away their expensive things like computers and cameras. And most importantly be there for them, expect the best out of them and love them.

Nicole had to decide for herself that being clean was better than the consequences of using Heroin.

Today, Nicole is in recovery. She struggles to make the right decisions everyday. But with a good support system and the tools to combat addiction, she is beating heroin one day at a time.

Look for the Signs of Heroin Use:

What are the signs of heroin use? If you suspect your child is using Heroin, search your home for signs of use. You can’t help your child if you don’t know what’s going on.. The signs are there, in plain sight, but without being aware they often go un-noticed until it is too late. Below are a few of these signs.

  1. If you are looking for addictive drugs – realize that an addict will tend to keep the drugs as close to them as possible, so when the call for getting high comes, it is readily available. Many times, the most ordinary items, when combined with other seemingly harmless signs can indicate a need for intervention.
    • Search in cars or waste baskets, backpacks, books & personal accessories for:
      1. Torn, folded scraps of paper
      2. Folded or crumpled receipts
      3. Small torn corners of plastic bags
      4. Small pieces or balled tin foil in cars or in waste baskets in room with traces of a white or brown powder
    • Look inside stuffed animals or toys or sunglass cases that may be used to store a drug kit
    • Black smudges or fingerprints on furniture, door knobs light switches that may have come from fingers used to smoke or prepare the drug
    • Keep tabs on prescription painkillers to determine if they have been taken or replaced with some other pill
    • Sudden presence of lighters, matches, candles
  2. Look for signs of heroin use around the whole house, not just their bedrooms. There are now hundreds of devices with hidden compartments - books, pop bottles, cereal boxes, hairbrushes, calculators, travel mugs, wall sockets, computers.


30 Second PSA

Warning Signs of Heroin Use:

Small or pinpoint pupils
Dramatic weight changes
Frequent nose bleeds
Frequent colds or illness
Itchy skin
Poor complexion
Pale or ashen coloration
Sudden hair loss
Poor hygiene

Cotton balls or Q-tips
Cut cigarette filters
Blood stains
Missing alcohol
Locked doors
Pen parts, straws
Burnt foil
Missing prescriptions
White or beige powder
Burn marks on floors or carpet

Excessive lying
Long sleeves in warm weather
Change in personality
Change in peer group
Change in routine
Altered sleep habits
Loss of appetite
Sudden isolation
School performance
Urgent need of money
Nodding off

Prescription Drug Drop Box


Prescription Drug Drop Box

Since prescription drugs are often the gateway to opiate addiction, ask your doctor to prescribe only the amount needed. Keep your medications locked up and learn how to appropriately dispose of them through the links below.

Visit the Cuyahoga County RX Drug Drop Box Website
Visit the RX Drug Drop Box Website

Visit Website
Created by a former recovered addict to help those affected by addiction; particularly for people who harbor doubts about whether it’s really a disease or whether treatment works. The disease of addiction is explained in a logical easy to understand manner. This website will help ease the journey others have to travel in coming to terms with addiction, whether their own or a loved one’s.


Big Elephant Recovery Services
7504 Briarcliff Parkway
Middleburg Heights, OH 44130
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Gain access to mental health and substance abuse information, assistance and recovery and treatment for young people who would otherwise not have access to volunteers, donors and partners offering these services.


Frontline Services
1744 Payne Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
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The 24/7 Crisis Hotline is an anonymous, confidential service. Talk with a licensed staff person who will listen to your concerns without judgment, assess your needs and recommend options and resources to help you.
Text: 741741 then text "FLS" in dialogue box


Robby’s Voice
1114 N. Court Street #123
Medina, Ohio 44256
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Robby’s voice arms parents, students and communities with the information to identify the warning signs of substance abuse and get access to the resources needed to live a drug-free life.


The Addict’s Mom
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This online community provides support to parents of addicts through its website, social media and grassroots community groups.


United Way 211
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Call 211 (or 216-436-2000 in Cuyahoga County) to speak to an Information Specialist who will suggest agencies and other resources to assist you. This community service is provided by The United Way of Greater Cleveland.


Need Health Insurance?
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Some treatment facilities require or encourage patients to have health insurance before checking into treatment. If you are without health insurance, you can visit to enroll in a plan.