The Difference Between Heroin and Coke
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.
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?
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
Have more questions about Heroin abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
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