Catholic struggling with opiate addiction, what would happen if I died today?

I’m a 23 year old guy, raised Catholic but didn’t believe until I was 21 when I resumed attending Mass weekly and have been since. My family is the best anyone could ask for, decent, caring, always enough money to provide everything for me, but in high school my friends were pretty bad influences (not blaming them, my choices were my own) and our main activity was drug use: lots of weed, alcohol, LSD and shrooms, mdma and cocaine sometimes. It was pretty messed up for our age.

I tried hydrocodone at age 18. This is the one that hooked me and I’ve used opiates daily in cycles of months at a time since then. Oxy, norco, poppy tea, oral morphine, basically every opioid but heroin (only b/c I’d have to shoot or snort it). I’ve done bad things to get these drugs in sufficient quantities: lied to and manipulated doctors, lied to my parents, even stolen money from their bank accounts many times (stealing from your own parents feels profoundly terrible btw). I did this all the way through college, and I’m now a 2nd year med student and still at it even though drug charges would destroy my future. I keep shady contacts and deal with dangerous people to score pills. I’ve been through terrible withdrawals several times, but always go back for more. I can’t deal with the boredom, apathy, and depression of sobriety, and always start using after like 2-3 months. I’m too afraid to tell anyone my secret b/c I don’t want to risk getting searched and charged.

TL;DR: I’m an incorrigible opiate junkie: is drug abuse itself mortal sin?, what does this say about my salvation considering I’m enslaved to this sin?

CCC 2291 The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law.

Yes, it is a serious sin and being addicted does not necessarily make you less responsible. You are now making choices that are totally within your control - keeping company with the wrong people. If you can’t stand the boredom of life that the rest of us have to live then get counseling for yourself. What kind of doctor will you be if you are high on something when you are treating patients?

I should just say that I’m not inebriated by the opioids. It’s the opposite really: I’m like energized by them and super motivated.

It sounds like you are getting false gifts from the drugs that you should be getting from the Holy Spirit. Get off that stuff immediately by getting a prescription for suboxone. That will get you out of the shady side of what you are doing, and stave off the withdrawal that would probably ruin your semester. Then because doctors can be quite stupid and greedy, and would keep you on suboxone forever, transition to naloxone during a break in the school year. Don’t get the uber expensive injectable time release version. Simply get the pills. They are cheap and just as effective.
In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, straighten up, young man! …or else!

Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength, fortitude & wisdom to overcome your temptations & return to the Church.

Drug abuse is gravely wrong. No way around that. Notice how it compounds the evil: lying, theiving, consorting and cooperating with dangerous criminals, etc.

Addiction isn’t easy, but it is time to stop making excuses and repent. Go to confession and ask for help. Now if you would please.

Trust yourself to Mary through the Rosary. I will pray for you, that you can leave this destructive practice and reform your life.

As for your question, no one but God can truly judge the state of your soul, but I’m sure you know the objective definition of mortal sin. Go to confession and pray beforehand that the priest is given the light to talk to you about your situation. I’ve done this multiple times for situations that were troubling me and it has not failed me.

What I am not hearing is that you want to stop using.

I hear your history, and it seems like you are looking for someone to tell you that it is okay.

If you are in medical school, you must be intelligent. You know it’s not right, and you are not fooling anyone. What you are doing, and how you get your drugs are wrong.

Instead of asking if it will affect what happens when you die, why not ask for our prayers to stop? Why as an intelligent medical student aren’t you going to a doctor for your substance abuse and getting help such as suboxone?

I think if you seriously want to stop but are struggling with breaking the habit, you’re not damned. If you pray, frequent confession, and honestly want to quit but still struggle, I think God will take that into account.

That’s not to say continued use is right or okay. I’m not trying to carve out an acceptable area to intend to stay in. I think you need to honestly want to quit and truly repent using it. And if you are at that point and using the sacraments and, God forbid, something happened today… I think we can honestly believe in, if not presume upon, God’s mercy in such situations.

If you’re not at that point yet, then I pray you’ll work towards it and completely quitting altogether.

One more thing OP.

I am not understanding how you even have time for boredom or apathy if you are in medical school. You have no free time unless you are shirking your studies. If you want to quit, go to a doctor. I do not believe you can quit on your own.

Please, do not use medical school as a reason to justify your drug use. Medical school is tough. Don’t complicate it and jeopardize your future with drug use.

Get help. If you can afford the drugs, you can afford the treatment. PM me if you want to discuss this privately.

You, more than most, understand that opioid addiction is like doing sommersaults down a steep cliff, at night, with poisonous snakes all over the place. It is death. There are many, many resources now for opium addicts, but you will need rehab and treatment. Even if that muddies the med school waters, it will save your life. The world needs you yo be holy more than it needs you to be a doctor.

By the way, getting into treatment is probably what is likely to keep you winding up in prison, so it is odd that you would think that “revealing your secrer” would ruin yiur future. It would help salavge it, if anything.


1856 Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us - that is, charity - necessitates a new initiative of God’s mercy and a conversion of heart which is normally accomplished within the setting of the sacrament of reconciliation:

When the will sets itself upon something that is of its nature incompatible with the charity that orients man toward his ultimate end, then the sin is mortal by its very object . . . whether it contradicts the love of God, such as blasphemy or perjury, or the love of neighbor, such as homicide or adultery. . . . But when the sinner’s will is set upon something that of its nature involves a disorder, but is not opposed to the love of God and neighbor, such as thoughtless chatter or immoderate laughter and the like, such sins are venial.130

1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."131

1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: "Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother."132 The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.

1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart133 do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.

1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.

If you are truly struggling, I pray the Merciful Lord will diminish your culpability. Use frequent confession, and the actual grace conferred, to assist you.


I know exactly what you are going thru, I was a regular heroin user until about 6 months ago, I started off on the prescription painkillers as well, but they became too expensive and hard to get sometimes, this was mostly due to Govt crackdown on them though.

Heroin was easily available and much cheaper, plus it was a better bang for the buck versus painkillers. I think the reason why a person is using them determines if it is wrong though, example, if someone knows opiate painkillers help with their pain and due to financial reasons, they cannot continue to keep seeing a doctor, filling scripts thru a pharmacy, I dont think its wrong if they go thru another source to get the same drugs, those laws are just the Govts way of dealing with the problem, this should not have any impact on a person who has true pain.

God put the Poppy plant here for us to utilize, it does work for taking pain away, the problem is, we have greedy pharmacies, doctors, and big pharma industries that want to impose strict guidelines on who can even get these drugs, they DO NOT want someone to be able to get relief without first paying…I believe this is the real reason behind the crackdown on opiates.

You should try Suboxone, get into a Suboxone treatment plan, it was been a miracle for me.

:thumbsup: The opioid epidemic was started by a few corrupt individuals who falsified medical reports and data in an effort to convince doctors that opioids were safe to prescribe. They literally paid doctors to prescribe them. There are several lawsuits brought by state and local governments (notably California, Kentucky, and Chicago) and there was a settlement with the federal government that totaled in the hundreds of $millions.

Are you serious? The crackdown on opioid medications is motivated by profits? :hypno:

That’s a horrifically wrong conclusion. It’s so wrongedy wrong that it’s almost not worth discussing. If the crackdown is driven by profits, why would the manufacturers and government drive people toward heroin, which is less expensive, thereby losing “market share” ? Heroin abuse goes up when states crack down on opioids.


So are you an addict? If you’re an addict you should probably get help and try not to die.

Based on your post, though, you don’t come across like an addict who’s at the end of his rope. If you’re not an addict looking for help, then I’d say yes, you are an unrepentant sinner who is pathetically trying to rationalize and justify maintaining a junk habit because you’re bored with life.

Or you’re a troll trying to ask questions you can troll on.

Look man you might think you’re on top of this now, but it slides really fast. I lost almost 10 years due to drug addiction. It’s not a game buddy. You’re in the big-time now. I mean you’re training to be able to save other people’s lives, but shouldn’t you save your own first? Hear me please. Get out of this BEFORE it ruins your life. I don’t want you around here commiserating with me afterwards. After it’s too late. I don’t need company on that score. I mean I’m no example to go by, but really. You don’t want to end up like me. You just don’t.



I posted a reply on the other board on the opiate addiction, but regarding what happens when someone dies with such an addiction, I was once told when I was deep in my Heroin addiction, if I died in this condition, I would still be addicted in the afterlife, I would still feel the need to use, but no way I ever could, and it would basically be eternal life going thru constant withdrawls…they would never stop.

I doubt that was true though, as addictions like these are physical, withdrawls are physical, the soul cannot go thru withdrawls.

You’ve obviously never been an opiate addict, smart decision. Once you’re high on opiates everyday for years your brain’s natural reward system is screwed up so bad that normal things in life don’t make you happy at all and you’re left feeling empty and bored constantly when sober. I started school sober and didn’t exactly shirk but had to force myself to work and felt like a (busy) zombie doing it.

I’ve been considering goin back on suboxone, but when i used it in the past it felt like such an opiate tease to me that i always ended up scrapping the sub and going back to using.

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