Difference Between Heroin and Crack

Heroin and crack are two drugs with frightening consequences, but they’re also very different from one another. What heroin and crack have in common is their ability to destroy lives and lead to death in the people who abuse them, but what about the difference between heroin and crack?

Below is general information about heroin and crack separately from one another, as well as details about the difference between heroin and crack.

Heroin and Crack | Difference Between Heroin and Crack
Before exploring the difference between heroin and crack, what is heroin? Heroin is a powerful, incredibly addictive opioid, and it’s a big component of the opioid epidemic currently ravaging the country. Heroin is derived from the poppy plant, and it’s usually injected with a needle. It’s similar in many ways to prescription opioid painkillers, which are also a critical part of the opioid epidemic. When someone takes heroin or any other opioid, it binds to certain brain receptors, which are the opioid receptors. This unleashes an unnatural flood the feel-good brain chemical dopamine into the system of the user, so they feel a short-lived but euphoric high. Following that high, the person will experience drowsiness, and people using heroin often nod off. This is because heroin is a depressant of the central nervous system. Heroin slows down the activity of the CNS, including essential functions like respiration. When someone overdoses on heroin it’s because their central nervous system has slowed to the point where it can’t function properly. Heroin can very quickly change the brain of a user, because of the way it activates their reward pathways. This is why it’s so addictive. Most people who use heroin also develop a physical dependence, and when they try to stop using the drug, they become very sick, which is called withdrawal. Heroin isn’t just addictive, but it’s also deadly, and its use transcends cultural, age, and socioeconomic lines.
Before comparing the difference between heroin and crack, what is crack? Crack is a drug that’s made by using cocaine and processing it with baking soda. It creates a crystalized rock-like substance that’s usually smoked. When crack is smoked, it delivers the effects of the drug very quickly, and the high is intense but short. Crack can take effect within just a few seconds, but the high often wears off within just minutes. This is why a lot of users will binge, or continue using large amounts of crack over a short time to stay high. Crack is very addictive as well, and many people say they were addicted the first time they used it. It’s inexpensive and for a long time was thought of as a drug of the poor inner cities, but as the heroin epidemic has spread to suburbs and rural area, all drug use has seemed to expand as well. Crack is a stimulant like cocaine, so when someone takes it, they not only experience a euphoric high but also an increased heart rate, dilated pupils and raise blood pressure. Other signs of crack use can include loss of appetite leading to extreme weight loss, insomnia and muscle twitching. Over time crack can destroy the chemical structure of the brain, and it’s also rough on the body of the user. If people take large amounts of crack, it can lead to paranoia, anxiety, and psychosis. With a crack overdose, a person would experience toxicity or a cardiac arrest or stroke.
So, what is the difference between heroin and crack? The following outlines the key difference between heroin and crack.
  • Heroin is a depressant which slows down the central nervous system, and this shows in the signs of use. For example, people who use heroin may seem slow, sluggish, disoriented or drowsy. It’s not uncommon for someone on heroin to nod off intermittently. Crack is a stimulant, so when someone uses this drug, they’re going to seem energetic and have symptoms like high blood pressure and a raised heart rate.
  • When someone dies from crack, it’s usually because of cardiotoxicity whereas with heroin the cause of death is often respiratory depression.
  • If someone overdoses on crack there’s no way to reverse the symptoms in many cases, while heroin does have an anecdote called Narcan.
  • Heroin is usually injected, whereas crack is typically smoked.
  • When people come down from crack is usually when they experience the withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, irritability and maybe psychosis, but with heroin, it usually begins a little while after the last dose is taken.
Regardless of the difference between heroin and crack, both are highly addictive and dangerous. They are a cause of death for many people, and both should be avoided. One of the primary differences between heroin and crack is the fact that heroin is a depressant which slows down the functions of the body, while crack is a stimulant. It’s difficult to recover from abusing both heroin and crack, but it is possible with a professional detox and treatment program.
Difference Between Heroin and Crack
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