This term is a bit more complicated than merely "smoking opium". It starts when you have your first high, the world is peaceful, everything is perfect, you're numb, but in the best way possible. But, soon, it starts wearing off. Fast. Your mind races, you're pulled out of your dream world. You crave the drug more and more, wanting to feel the same way as you did on your first high. You go to the dealer and buy the same amount you had the first time, and smoke. Still feels good, but not as good as first time. You go and buy more. Closer, but not quite there. You're stuck, you don't know what to do. You want to go back to that little dream world and stay forever, but your body is already developing a tolerance. You panic. You use all your money to buy more and more and more, but still, not the same as that first time. You realize that you have no more money, so you start selling your things, pawning whatever could get you that next bag. Still, nothing compared to what you had on that first, magical time. So, you're broke and own nothing. But you don't care, all you care about is getting back to the first high. You start stealing, doing "favors", whatever gets you the money for the attempt. Your life becomes a living hell, all in search of a repeat of the first high. That's chasing the dragon.
by Woody. December 29, 2004
Smoking heroin off of a piece of tin foil. As the heroin rolls across the tin foil, the smoke moves with it and looks like a dragon. The user follows the smoke with their straw, hence "Chasing the dragon".
by Ye Old Prawn August 07, 2008
Doing everything you can to obtain that same "high" you got from the first time you tried a drug, but never quite getting there due to the body developing a natural tolerance. Originally in reference to opium addiction, this term now refers to any drug.
by jpc1 February 26, 2010
Originally in reference to feeding an opium addiction, this can refer to ploughing through any task past the point of diminishing returns, with disregard to one's own health, sanity or well-being.
We shot 16 hours yesterday, so rather than go to sleep, I had a couple espressos and followed it with a handful of vivarin to work through the night. It's 9:00 AM and by this point, I'm just chasing the dragon.
by Tim Toon August 19, 2007
Old school, smoking Opium with a straw or straw like object. Burn Opium then suck up the smoke as it rises and shimmies (Ie: like a Dragons Tail ). Defintion #2 is the retarded "girls gone wild " version.
by T-Bone418 October 09, 2005
Chasing the Dragon!! You chase the dragon while injecting yourself... but you never actually catch the dragon.
by S.P.Luuuuuvah July 10, 2008
Originally used to describe the practice of smoking heroine or opium, the term now includes other forms of inhalation of controlled and uncontrolled substances such as marajuana a/k/a mary jane or weed, crack or coke
by Ike&Tina December 31, 2009