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Home > Health > Medicine > Nutrients & Drugs > Cocaine and Heroin Compared

Difference Between Cocaine and Heroin

Cocaine vs Heroin

Cocaine and Heroin are two of the most addictive drug that exists today. Both of these drugs are extracted from each and specific kind of plant with the same kingdom (Plantae), division (Magnoliophyta), and class (Magnoliopsida). Possession of these drugs is considered illegal in almost all countries in the world.


Cocaine, with an International Nonproprietary Name (INN) benzoylmethylecgonine, is extracted from a coca plant’s leaves. This drug is a stimulant (giving temporary physical or mental improvements with effects like alertness, feeling not hungry, and improved body movements) which directly affects the central nervous system. Cocaine has been one of the oldest drugs known and was label as a drug during the extensive use and abuse in circa 1980s and 1990s.


Heroin or diacetylmorphine (INN) is acquired through opium poppy, a plant which extracts (poppy seeds and opium) are the sources of other narcotic substance like papaverine, thebaine, and codeine. In 19th century, heroin is used as painkillers but later on doctors prohibits its used due to its addictive quality. Heroin is so fast-acting that seconds after intake, through injection and/or smoking, the user will feel its euphoric effects.

Difference between Cocaine and Heroin

Cocaine is known in the street market as Snow, Crack, Coke, and Rock whereas Heroin on the other hand has also many names in the street market including but not limited to Big H, Diesel, Junk, and Thunder. Users of cocaine will experience euphoria or the feeling of happiness, hallucinations, and paranoia while users of heroin will drowsy and wakeful alternatively just seconds after using.

Since these two illegal drugs are highly abused and commonly used by means of injection, the risk of users getting HIV and Hepatitis is very high. When using these drugs there is a possibility that users will also use other kinds of drugs or alcohol which may lead to drug overdose and eventually leads to death.

In brief:

• Cocaine is popularly known in the street as crack or coke while heroin is known as the Big H and white junk.

• The International Non-proprietary Name (INN) for Cocaine is benzoylmethylecgonine while it is diacetylmorphine for Heroin.

• Users of cocaine will feel physical and mental alertness and improved body movements. In the case of heroin, users will feel euphoria or the feeling of happiness exaggeratedly.


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