Which is Worse, Cocaine or Heroin?

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

Which is Worse, Cocaine or Heroin?

cocaine vs heroin

When it comes to drugs, many people may question the harmful effects that it can have on the body. General misconceptions may cause the belief that one drug is “better” or “safer” than the other – these perceptions can lead people to try a drug that is still incredibly dangerous and addictive. Comparing drugs to see which is better or worse isn’t always the best stance however, because illegal drugs are harmful no matter what they are.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), cocaine is a powerful, stimulant drug that can alter brain structure and is used to “block” pain. Cocaine can be administered by a doctor for legitimate medical purposes such as anesthesia, but is illegal in all other instances due to its high probability for abuse. American Addiction Centers has listed several dangers of cocaine use: overdose, HIV infection, Hepatitis B or C infection, mood disorders, cardiovascular disease, respiratory illness, memory loss, nose collapse, stroke, seizure, slow reaction time, and gastrointestinal disease, to name a few. The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime estimated that 14.21 million people worldwide were abusing cocaine in 2012, and that number is still a concern today.

Heroin, on the other hand, is a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed of a poppy plant primarily found in South America. The NIH states that “black tar” heroin is a sticky, tar-like substance that is dark in color due to crude processing methods that leave behind impurities. This drug can be dissolved, diluted, or injected. WebMD claims that because heroin reaches the brain quickly, users can become addicted after just one or two uses. Health risks of heroin abuse are: collapsed veins, infections of the heart lining and valves, skin infections such as abscesses and cellulitis, HIV infection, Hepatitis B or C infection, lung disease like pneumonia or tuberculosis, and miscarriage, to name a few. The NIH reported in 2012 that approximately 669,000 Americans were abusing heroin, and this is still a major issue.

From comparison, one can see that the damaging effects are rather similar – extreme damage to the body is plausible, and extreme overdose could even lead to death. Cocaine and heroin are highly dangerous, addictive drugs.




If you or someone you know is addicted to drugs, recovery is still possible. Our facilities at Avalon Malibu will ensure you are well taken care of – we are a world-renowned, California state licensed residential addiction and mental health treatment center dedication to your well-being and recovery. We believe in holistic, integrative treatment, focusing on the mind, body, and spirit. Call us today at 855-392-9791 to begin your journey towards recovery.

We will work with most out of network PPO and POS policies

Call to verify your insurance benefits today!