People speak out on possible signs and symptoms of Heroin use - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

People speak out on possible signs and symptoms of Heroin use

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HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -

Hannibal Residents are calling Heroin a major problem in their community now more than ever.  Just last week, Marion County Sheriff Jimmy Shinn said the amount of it in Northeast Missouri is the highest he's ever seen in the area and called it an epidemic.  

People agree with Sheriff Shinn; the drug is sweeping across the city at an alarming rate.  In addition to what they've seen, they also give some tips on what to look for if you suspect a loved one is using heroin.  

Jordan Covington just recently lost a friend to what he believes was a heroin overdose.

"I couldn't believe it at first. Of course no one ever believes it when someone passes away. You just think it's a joke or a dream, I'll wake up. It was pretty tragic," Covington said.  
Covington admits he used to be addicted to Heroin, and it's not hard to find.
"I could make a call and if that person doesn't know they'll call that person and that person will most likely know. It just goes on down the line. I mean somebody always knows somebody who knows somebody who knows something about it.  It's a lot easier than what people think.  For sure. I know 15 and 16 year olds now that probably have it. It's pretty terrible," he said.  
Covington believes Heroin use has dramatically risen since he was in high school,  and he thinks today's students are experimenting at a high rate.
"I would say anywhere between 45% to 50% of high school students will try Heroin at least once," he said.  
Kettisha Hodges is a diagnostician at the Hannibal Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.  She said she's also seen a rise in people hooked on heroin looking to get clean and some are teenagers.
"We work with mainly adults, but we see people from the ages of 17 and a half up.  I mean it's unlimited how many we have noticed probably a majority from 17 to 28 or 30," she said. 
Both Covington and Hodges explain there are easy ways to spot if someone is under the influence of heroin.
"Your eyes are glazed over, really glossy really red.  And you can't really focus on anything and all your movements are ridiculously slow, your speech is slow, everything is slow," Covington said.  

 "Paying attention to how they are when they leave to when they come back in can tell a lot.  If you're making eye contact with them talking to them in conversation. Cause sometimes slurred speech can give you details.  If an individual that is using starts avoiding family, that's a big sign," Hodges said.  

Other symptoms are dramatic mood swings and not caring about anything.  Covington gave the analogy when he was on heroin, if he got news a loved one was in a car wreck, he wouldn't have any emotion.  
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