One of the biggest crises the country faces today is the opioid crisis. In this, the most abused substance is Heroin and fentanyl. According to statistics from 2017, about 49,000 Americans lost their lives due to fentanyl. Both drugs are known to bind to the opioid receptors of the brain and, when abused, gives relaxation and pleasure and also reduces pain. In this article, we will be tackling the difference between Heroin and fentanyl.
Fentanyl vs. Heroine
- The type of drug
Heroin is a semi-synthetic opioid, and fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. Heroin is derived from synthesizing natural substances like morphine, whereas fentanyl is derived through a chemical process. Despite being made from chemical methods, they have similar effects like Heroin.
- Legal status
Heroin is considered a Schedule I drug and is illegal to distribute, whereas fentanyl is a schedule II drug and can be sold or prescribed by medical practitioners. Nevertheless, the drug enforcement agency has classified Heroin and fentanyl as a controlled substance.
Heroin is derived from morphine, whereas fentanyl is purely human-made. Fentanyl is produced by laboratories and therefore is much more common to manufacture and acquire. Fentanyl is much easier than Heroin when it comes to synthesis and does not require a lengthy process.
Heroin is a white or brown colored powder, whereas fentanyl can be acquired as a pill, patch, powder, or liquid. Despite the form, they both are extremely dangerous if consumed.
- Method of administration
Heroin abuse is mostly done by smoking, snorting, or injecting, whereas fentanyl can be administered by sublingual, injected, snorted, or smoked.
Heroin is much more potent compared to morphine, depending on the purity levels of the product. In contrast, fentanyl is 100 times stronger than morphine, according to research by the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
- Side effects
Heroin – a reduction in the sex drive, confusion, and difficulty in concentrating, drowsiness, dry mouth, constricted pupils, vomiting, and nausea.
Fentanyl – Nausea and vomiting, dry mouth, sleepiness, Adhesive reaction, Weakness and slowed breathing, and low blood pressure.
- Potential for overdose
Fentanyl has a higher chance of overdose compared to Heroin. This is because there is only a small difference between the deadly dose and the therapeutic dose of fentanyl. A deadly dose of fentanyl is 3 milligrams, whereas for Heroin, it is 30 milligrams.
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