Fentanyl vs. Heroin: An Opioid Comparison

Heroin is an opiate, and Fentanyl is an opioid. Both opiates and opioids affect the brain in the same way, and addiction to either looks remarkably similar. Therefore, both heroin and Fentanyl can be referred to as opioids, and the identification would still be correct. These drugs are very potent, addicting, and will cause a long-term addiction to occur.

Most often for many years and even decades. Both Fentanyl and heroin are narcotic drugs. They work by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain that receive pain messages, then flood the person’s system with endorphins and dopamine to numb the pain. While both drugs are extremely dangerous, they also have their marked differences.

Both heroin and Fentanyl are incredibly potent to the point where they can be lethal in just a single dose.

Fentanyl vs. Heroin: An Opioid Comparison

Fentanyl: What You Need to Know

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, not made from morphine and the opposite of heroin. It is a Schedule II drug, and it is only prescribed for medical pain management. It is legal to have with a valid prescription. In general, it is not prescribed for acute pain but to minimize chronic and debilitating pain from severe injury or diseases.

Fentanyl is also much more powerful than all other opioids. It is ten-to-twenty times more potent than heroin and a hundred-to-fifty times more potent than morphine. This is why Fentanyl is such an extremely deadly and dangerous drug. Legal Fentanyl is available as skin absorbing patches, lozenges, pills, or injections.

Illegal Fentanyl is produced in Mexico and China with the singular purpose of causing addiction. It is sold as a powder or tablet.

Heroin: An Overview

Heroin is made from morphine, a natural substance derived from the seeds of opium poppy plants. The drug is considered a Schedule I drug, which means that it is never used for medical purposes, and addiction is highly likely. In addition, heroin is made illegally and cannot be purchased legally. Heroin is sold as ‘Black tar’ heroin on the west coast and as a white or brown powder on the east coast of the United States. Powder versions of heroin are the most typical globally. To get high, heroin users will end up as junkies, injecting it, but begin by smoking or snorting it.

The number of heroin-involved overdose deaths was more than seven times higher in 2019 than in 1999. Nearly a third of all opioid deaths involved heroin. (CDC)

Why Is Fentanyl Stronger than Heroin?

Heroin differs in strength from Fentanyl as a result of its chemical structures. Heroin and Fentanyl will each form bonds with the brain’s mu-opioid receptor, but Fentanyl crosses the blood barrier to the brain quicker than heroin and morphine; recall that heroin is made from morphine.

Additionally, since the brain contains high volumes of cellular fat, it allows the synthetic makeup of the Fentanyl to pass through the blood barrier easier and get the person higher faster. As well, Fentanyl triggers the molecular chain of events that cause any type of opioid to take effect with a minuscule amount of it.

It is common for people to unknowingly ingest Fentanyl since it is often passed off as pure heroin. 

What is the Best Treatment For Heroin and Fentanyl Addiction?

Both Heroin and Fentanyl will cause severe physical dependence, and the only way to help someone begin to end the addiction to either is through medically supervised opioid detox. Specialized opioid replacement medications that minimize and ease opioid withdrawal symptoms are necessary, or the person will return to using.  Medications prescribed in detox are referred to as medication-assisted treatment or MAT. Evoke Wellness offers MAT detox and treatment options

The National Institute on Drug Abuse Explains Heroin and Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms

People addicted to an opioid [heroin, Fentanyl, prescription pain killers] who stop using the drug can have severe withdrawal symptoms that begin as early as a few hours after the drug was last taken. The symptoms include muscle and bone pain, sleep problems, diarrhea and vomiting, cold flashes with goosebumps, uncontrollable leg movements, and severe cravings. (NIDA)

Evoke Wellness Provides Opioid Addiction Treatment and Detox

Upon admission at one of our Evoke facilities, an addiction specialist and physician will design a unique plan for medically supervised detoxification. First, the medical doctors and psychiatric staff will prescribe fast-acting medications that are safe to help you or your family member be as comfortable and withdrawal symptom-free as possible. Next, the patient will receive a personalized treatment plan that reflects the patient’s unique histories and therapy needs. We also provide individual and group therapy sessions beginning in detox.

Finally, a smooth transition occurs into your next treatment program, either as an inpatient, outpatient, or intensive outpatient, to help you remain in recovery. Call Right Now to Enter Detox Today!

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