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Heroin Versus Fentanyl: Dangers and Effects

The use of opioids, particularly heroin and fentanyl, is an issue across the country. But what is the difference between heroin versus fentanyl? This is a valid question that many people ask. Understanding the differences, as well as the similarities between the 2 can help create an understanding of just how deadly they both can be.

Both heroin and fentanyl are deadly. Struggling with either substance can lead to overdose, as well as major impacts to health and overall well-being. Having proper support can be crucial to overcoming addiction to these substances. 

Heroin Versus Fentanyl Overview

Fentanyl and heroin are both opioids. Fentanyl has medical uses, while heroin is an illicitly produced and distributed substance. They both have pain-relieving qualities, however, one is far more potent than the other.

Both substances are addictive and can lead to severe impacts on a person’s life and well-being. Heroin versus fentanyl, fentanyl can be more deadly and lead to devastation in the lives of friends and family of an individual struggling. 

Heroin, Fentanyl, and the Opioid Epidemic

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), deaths from drug overdose increased by over 16% from 2020 to 2021. The number of overdose deaths during the year 2021 was over 6 times higher than it was in 1999. The opioid epidemic that is plaguing the United States is a major contributing factor. Opioids are highly addictive and can impact the lives of people in ways they never thought possible.

Illicitly manufactured and sold drugs like heroin and fentanyl are part of the problem. These 2 substances contribute to a large percentage of overdose and overdose deaths each year. The effects that these drugs can have on the body lead to the inability to process them and lead to a person having a negative reaction leading to overdose. Regardless of using heroin versus fentanyl, the results can still be fatal.

Heroin Versus Fentanyl: Similarities

The similarities of heroin versus fentanyl are just as important to know as their differences. Both are opioids, and both have pain-relieving properties. Additionally, they can both be deadly. These substances are commonly abused and misused to feel their euphoric effects, which perpetuates continued abuse.

Heroin and fentanyl produce similar effects. These can include euphoria, slowed or shallow breathing, slowed motor movement, and lowered inhibitions. Continued use of these substances leads to developing a tolerance and needing more and more of the substance to achieve the desired effects. With tolerance comes dependence, and inevitably addiction to the substances. 

Heroin Versus Fentanyl: Differences

Despite their similarities, there are some major differences between heroin versus fentanyl. For example, fentanyl is more potent than heroin. A person who habitually uses heroin, and begins using fentanyl, can easily begin behaving and thinking differently.

Fentanyl’s potency is a contributing factor to its deadliness. Heroin also has no medical purpose. It is manufactured and sold illegally on the streets, whereas fentanyl has medical uses. It is commonly used to treat chronic pain. the drug is also used in pain management during cancer treatments and end-of-life comfort. 

Which is Worse?

Both drugs are terrible and can lead to devastating results. Asking oneself about heroin versus fentanyl and wondering which is worse is common. However, neither is beneficial and both can be deadly. With its potency, fentanyl can seemingly be worse, and more deadly.

This does not mean that heroin is a “safer alternative” to using fentanyl, though. Those struggling with these substances should seek professional help and begin to overcome their addiction to live a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Heroin Withdrawal

Withdrawal from heroin is an extremely uncomfortable process. The user’s brain has become accustomed to the substance after daily use. When they stop, or even cut back, it can result in extremely painful and uncomfortable symptoms.

From restlessness, nausea, and headache to more extreme symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting, heroin withdrawal can be a highly unpleasant process.

Fentanyl Withdrawal

Understanding heroin versus fentanyl withdrawal is important. Both are opioids, and both can produce similar symptoms when undergoing withdrawal. Fentanyl withdrawal can be just as uncomfortable, if not more. The potency of fentanyl can contribute to a person’s sensations during withdrawal. Not everyone recovers the same way or at the same pace.

Often, when people try to quit using fentanyl “cold turkey” the symptoms become too much to handle and they end up using it again. This is why seeking professional help to withdraw safely and successfully is best.

Help for Addiction to Heroin and Fentanyl

Heroin and fentanyl are 2 of the leading contributing factors to drug overdoses, both fatal and non-fatal. These 2 substances contribute to the deterioration of families, and careers, and lead to legal and health problems.

Overcoming addiction to these addictive substances can be difficult with proper support. If you or a loved one are struggling, we can help. At Empowered Recovery Center we strive to provide a safe and healing environment for recovery.

Reach out today and begin your journey. 

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    Marietta, GA 30066

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