A set of hands stand in front of heroin

Heroin and the various prescription opioids constitute some of the most physically and psychologically addictive substances of abuse. As the Opioid Epidemic shows no sign of fading away, more and more people are losing their lives to overdose.

Not surprisingly, using these drugs comes with several long-term consequences on all aspects of the users life. Here we list just some of them.

“Chasing the Dragon”

Opioids almost immediately cause tolerance to the physical and psychological effects of theA set of hands among heroin drugs, sometimes as quickly as on the third repeated use.

This tolerance means that more of the drug must be used to achieve the desired effects.

Many long-term users will attest, however, that all repeated use is never quite the same as the first time (and thus the old saying, chasing the dragon).


Long-term opioid use creates a powerful physical and psychological dependence on the drug.

This dependence is what makes the user a slave to the drug, for at this point in the addiction they will require the drug in order to stave off the powerful effects of withdrawal.


With dependence on opioids comes opioid withdrawal when the user stops taking the drug.  While not fatal, the withdrawal from opioids is just about one of the most unpleasant things anyone can go through and is largely responsible for why the drug is so hard to abstain from.

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There typically is no ceiling to opioid tolerance, meaning the addiction simply grows and grows with time. Not surprisingly, the greatest limiting factor of most opioid addictions ends up being financial. The addiction typically leaves the user in financial ruin if not put in check quick enough.

Social life

Over the long run, opioid addiction typically causes a general withdrawal from any sort of normal social life. The severity of withdrawal coupled with the amount of time each day that revolves around securing and using the next fix almost certainly guarantee this.

This consequence also typically extends to any sort of legitimate employment.

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.