Drug use and recovery have received considerable attention from social scientists over the past few decades. Earlier theoretical explanations of drug abuse evaluated constructionist paradigms of stratification, labeling, and Marxist theories [1-3]. However, many studies involving heroin use continue to focus on person-centered risk factors surrounding use and, to a lesser extent, recovery processes [4-7]. There is a need to further develop contextual approaches that include theoretical processes, opportunity structures, and behavioral economic factors. In this article, two classic criminological theories (differential opportunity and subcultural) are reviewed as well as the more recent Social Research Theory. These theories have helped better understand the microeconomic behaviors of heroin users, and those recovering from heroin addiction. This article provides a review of the application of these theories for researching heroin use and recovery.