Bad Experiences Frequently Asked Questions Rehab

What It Feels Like to Be Addicted to Opioids


If you’ve never tried any opiate before, you might assume that it’s this amazing, wonderful feeling. How else to explain why so many people get addicted to such a dangerous, toxic drug? The high must be worth the risk, right?

The short answer is, not really.

Heroin doesn’t really make you feel that great. It’s more about the absence of pain, rather than the gaining of any sort of pleasure. Usually, in the first few minutes of use, you will get a rush of something like euphoria – although this gets weaker and weaker the more often you use, and you have to keep doing more and more to get that kind of high again. But after the euphoria fades, it’s more like the drug just kills any pain, emotional or physical. Everything is just a little bit nicer, a little blurrier, a little smoother. Everything is just fine and manageable, and you feel like you’re floating in a dream. Nothing matters, nothing at all – except making sure you still have more heroin, because if not, it’s going to hurt. It’s going to hurt really, really bad.

You might wonder why, after having such a bad experience the first time, I ever did heroin again. I wasn’t planning on it and had no real desire to feel that sick, paranoid feeling again. But my boyfriend Brian got more and more into it. Instead of waking up and smoking pot, as he used to, he would wake up and smoke heroin instead. I didn’t really like it. He was a different person – it was like he was there in the room with me, but he wasn’t really there. I felt so disconnected from him and lonely. I could feel him pulling away from me, and I was terrified to lose him. By then my identity was so wrapped up in being his girlfriend, that I didn’t think I’d recognize myself without him.

For some reason, I thought the best way to connect with him again was to get on his level, to try to enjoy what he was enjoying so much. I can’t even blame him – it’s not like he forced me, or even suggested I try it again. It was my own decision. Reluctantly, despite getting sick that first time, I tried smoking again.

This time, it was totally different.

I was expecting to feel sick again and was waiting for nausea to hit me. But instead of sickness, this time it felt… great.

To this day, nothing compares to that first I took the second time I tried heroin. I was on cloud nine; I’d never felt so happy in my life. I thought, oh, this is what the fuss is all about, I can totally see why Brian is into this, this is great! The intense happy feeling wore off soon though, leaving just a nice, comfortable buzzy feeling that tingled through my body. I floated through the next few hours in a daze, pleasantly numb.

But then the pain hits.

Even just from that one time, I felt so sick when I came down from the drug. My body and brain wanted to be back up in that cloud. So I smoked some more. And some more. And some more. Until I was just like Brian, waking up and smoking every day, as habitual as brushing my teeth.

Because I was just lounging around at Brian’s apartment all day, every day, I gradually lost my friends, my job, and failed out of college with only one semester left until graduation. But I didn’t care. None of this bothered me from up in my cozy cloud with Brian.