The Difference Between Heroin and Coke

Heroin and coke have some things in common. They’re widely abused, incredibly addictive, illegal, and they both have the capacity to destroy lives. However, they have differences as well.

Below is information to help you understand what heroin and coke are, and what the possible effects of using these drugs can be, as well as an overview of the difference between heroin and coke.

Heroin and Coke | The Difference Between Heroin and Coke
Heroin is a drug in the national spotlight unlike ever before, because it’s front and center in the U.S. opioid epidemic that’s damaging communities and families around the country. Heroin is an opioid, and unlike many other opioids which are prescription pain relievers, it’s completely illegal. It does have similarities to prescription opioids, however, in the way that it affects the brain and body of the user.

When someone uses heroin, which is derived from poppy plant resin, it binds to their opioid receptors, which creates a euphoric high and also a sense of deep relaxation. Because of how heroin affects the brain it’s extremely addictive.

People become not only addicted but also physically dependent on it very quickly as it alters the brain’s reward pathways.

Heroin is dangerous not only because of its effects on the brain and body, but it’s also usually injected via needle, which leaves you open to infections and bloodborne diseases.

When people are physically dependent on heroin and attempt to stop using it, they tend to go through withdrawal and feel very ill.

So, what about cocaine, or coke?

Cocaine, often just referred to as coke, is also a very powerful drug and it’s derived from the coca plant. It’s a stimulant, so when someone uses cocaine, they will usually feel euphoric, energetic and alert. For some people, the results of being high on cocaine can be different however and can include paranoia or hostility.

Most people snort cocaine, but it can be rubbed on the gums, or injected.

The use of cocaine can lead to serious side effects or death from respiratory failure, stroke or heart attack.

Despite the dangers of cocaine, it remains widely used.

Before covering the difference between heroin and coke, it’s important to talk about what happens when heroin and coke are mixed. These incredibly potent drugs should never be mixed, and if someone abuses both heroin and coke, it’s referred to as polydrug abuse.

Sometimes people will mix them to mitigate the unwanted side effects of one or both substances, or people might want to use cocaine to stay awake and combat the drowsiness created by heroin.

When heroin and coke are mixed, it’s called speedballing.

The majority of overdoses involve multiple substances, so if you’re mixing heroin and coke, you’re at a significantly higher risk of overdosing. This is because the symptoms of both heroin and coke can be masked by the use of the other, so you may not realize just how much of the drugs you’ve used.

When you take heroin and coke at the same time, it’s also harder for your body to eliminate these drugs and toxicity can build up in your system.

Some of the similarities between heroin and coke include the fact that both are very dangerous and addictive, but what about the difference between heroin and coke? The following are some key differences between heroin and coke:

  • Heroin acts as a depressant of the central nervous system, while coke is a stimulant. When you take heroin, your major functions slow down including your breathing. People who use heroin will often nod off very easily as well, and overdose with heroin occurs when the respiratory system slows so much that you stop breathing. Coke, on the other hand, is a stimulant, so it has much the opposite effect. People on heroin have functions that speed up, and they can stay awake for long periods of time.
  • When people die from heroin, it’s usually the result of respiratory depression, while with cocaine it’s because of something called cardiotoxicity.
  • While it is possible to inject cocaine, most people snort it, while heroin is primarily injected.
  • While both heroin and coke are addicted and can create a physical dependence, this tends to be worse with heroin. Heroin is incredibly addictive, and withdrawal from it also tends to be worse for most people.
The biggest difference between heroin and coke is the fact that heroin is a depressant of the central nervous system, while coke acts as a stimulant. On their own, both can be addictive and deadly, and when used together this is even truer. With heroin and coke, there is no safe amount or way to use them without putting yourself at serious risk.

Both of these addictive drugs wreak havoc on the lives of people who use them and their families, and despite the difference between heroin and coke, their damage is something they share in common.


The Difference Between Heroin and Coke
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