Fentanyl vs. Heroin: Which Is Worse?
Heroin and fentanyl are both dangerous opioids.
While heroin has been around for years, fentanyl is new to the scene but causing just as much havoc.
Both are dangerous and life-threatening drugs that can create lingering addiction. However, is one really worse than the other?
Keep in mind that both are terrible drugs and you should not take either. However, if you are addicted, there is hope.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is an extremely fast-acting opioid drug that may also be known as black tar, hell dust, smack, big H, chiva, or thunder.
It’s actually a naturally occurring opioid derived from morphine, which is found in poppy plants. Heroin often has a brown powdery appearance and may be cut with other substances to conceal its appearance.
What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is an extremely potent opioid drug that’s also known as China girl, China white, goodfella, murder 8, cash, or dance fever.
Because it is synthetic and created in a laboratory, it can actually be 50 to 100 times more potent than naturally-occurring morphine.
How Many People Take Heroin?
Heroin has seen a spike of popularity in recent years as more and more people are seeking a substitute for their prescription painkiller addictions.
In fact, in the year 2016, it’s estimated that 2.10 percent of Americans over the age of 26 used heroin. People ages 18 to 25 were not far behind this statistic, with 1.8 percent trying heroin.
Overall, studies show that heroin accounted for a full quarter of overdose deaths in the year 2015, which was three times the amount of deaths in 2010.
How Many People Take Fentanyl?
Unfortunately, fentanyl use is on the rise.
It’s estimated that overall synthetic opioid use rose by 72 percent from 2014 to 2015. Even worse, 9,5000 people died from synthetic opioid overdose in 2015.
In particular, the National Forensic Laboratory Information System found that federal seizures of fentanyl increase seven times between 2012 to 2014.
All of these statistics clearly illustrate that fentanyl use is on the rise – much like heroin use.
How Do People Abuse Heroin?
Heroin is typically snorted, smoked, or injected.
If the heroin is particularly pure, it is only snorted or smoked so that users can savor the extreme high.
However, if it’s a less pure strain, it is dissolved and then injected into the veins or under the skin.
Regardless of how you take it, it goes to the brain very quickly and begins working almost immediately.
How Do People Abuse Fentanyl?
When taken legally for pain relief purposes, fentanyl is prescribed as a lozenge, injection, or patch.
However, when bought illegally on the streets, fentanyl is often sold as a powder, blotter paper, tablet, or mixed together with heroin.
This allows abusers to snort, swallow, and inject fentanyl depending on their preferences.
As you can see, the main difference between heroin and fentanyl is that heroin is a natural opioid while fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. This means that fentanyl is much stronger, and therefore, has the potential to be far more dangerous if misused.
For example, if someone used to taking heroin tries to substitute the same amount of fentanyl, they will probably overdose and die.
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