Cocaine vs Heroin – Which Drug is More Dangerous (Drug Addiction)?

Cocaine vs Heroin – Which Drug is More Dangerous (Drug Addiction)?

The Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA,
has a scheduling system to classify all drugs. The Schedule lists drugs on varying levels
from one to five and includes everything from illicit street drugs to prescribed pharmaceuticals. The schedule is not as straightforward as
to how dangerous a drug is though; instead it reflects a more complex classification
such as a drug’s medical value as well as its potential for abuse. Today we’re going to be looking at two of
the most well known drugs on this schedule. How they are manufactured and distributed,
what the effects are and how dangerous they can be. Welcome to this episode of the Infographics
Show: Cocaine vs Heroin. Cocaine and heroin have a few things in common. They are both illegal and incredibly addictive;
they are widely used and often abused, and both have the capacity to destroy lives. However, there are also many differences between
these two drugs and that’s what we’ll be looking into. Let’s start with heroin. There are a lot of questions about heroin
including, where does it come from, what is it made of & what does it look like? Some of the reasons that people have these
questions is because they worry someone they know may be abusing this deadly drug. An opioid epidemic is gripping the US, and
heroin is an opioid. People often start with prescription opioids
but they develop a tolerance to these drugs, which can quickly lead down the path of heroin
use. Heroin was first manufactured in 1898 by the
Bayer pharmaceutical company of Germany and marketed as a treatment for tuberculosis as
well as a remedy for morphine addiction. It was then, and still now, is made from the
resin of poppy plants. It’s a thick milky liquid that is removed
from the pod of the poppy flower by slicing the flower bulb. This sap is known as opium and its added to
boiling water with lime. A film of white morphine forms at the top. This morphine is then reheated with ammonia
before an additional stage involving more filtering and boiling until a brown paste
forms, which is left to dry in the sun. This is the raw morphine base for heroin but
there are still a few more steps to get it to street grade. There are a few different routes that the
heroin in the US arrives. As much as 90% of the opioids in the world
originate from Afghanistan, but only around 4% of US heroin originates from there. So if not from Afghanistan, where is all the
heroin coming from? The 2016 National Drug Threat Assessment found
that Mexican cartels expanded their market share in the US to nearly 80% in 2014. This pushed out South American and Southwest
Asian producers and by 2015, 93% of the heroin the DEA seized and analyzed came from Mexico. Mexico’s poppy cultivation tripled between
2013 and 2016. In 2016, poppy cultivation reached 32,000
hectares in Mexico. That’s enough to produce 81 metric tons
of heroin. Pure heroin is a white bitter powder and this
is the stuff that usually comes from South America. It is most often found in the areas east of
the Mississippi River. The black tar heroin is usually produced in
Mexico and sold in markets to the west of the Mississippi. The reason for the dark coloring is the result
of the crude processing that happens in Mexico, leaving impurities in the drug. So what about Cocaine, or coke as it’s commonly
referred to. It was big in the 1980’s, but it’s still
heavily used and America remains the largest consumer of the drug. According to a 2015 article in The Washington
Post, 1 in 20 American adults ages 18 to 25 used the drug in 2015. Pablo Escobar is a name we all associate with
cocaine and he has been the inspiration behind many film and TV series about the vast amounts
of cocaine that come out of Columbia. But things have changed since the 1980’s
with the cocaine trade spreading to other countries. Where does America’s cocaine come from today? Colombia is one place but the other Andean
nations of Peru and Bolivia, are also now huge producers. Vast amounts of cocaine come from South America
because of the abundance of coca plants that grow in the mountains and jungle areas. What about the effects of these two drugs? How do they differ? When someone takes a hit of heroin, it driggers
a rush of dopamine in the brain, creating intense feelings of pleasure. This also comes with flushing of the skin,
a feeling of heaviness, and a dry mouth. Less pleasurable feelings include extreme
itching and vomiting. After the initial rush a user will enter period
of drowsiness for a few hours, their breathing will slow, and their eyes may close, as they
fall into a dreamy state. Cocaine is quite different. The cocaine high involves an intense pleasure
called euphoria. The drug stimulates the brain in the same
way that a real achievement might do, like winning a college football game. This feeling is the main reason people who
get addicted want to get high on cocaine again and again. But each high requires a little more of the
drug to get the same effect. Users also often feel superior to other people
and so the effect of the cocaine high can have a particular appeal to people with low
self-esteem, or who are in situations where a greater level of confidence is desirable,
such as performers. And talking of performers, there have been
scores of famous addicts over the years. Many were musicians and few lived to tell
the tale. Kurt Cobain, former frontman of Nirvana, killed
himself in 1994 at the age of 27. While heroin didn’t kill Cobain, during
the last years of his life he was as famous for his abuse of drugs as he was for his huge
hit Smells Like Teen Spirit. In his suicide note Cobain claimed that one
of the motivations behind him using heroin was to deal with the “uncomfortable stomach
condition” that doctors had not been able to diagnose. Another famous musician who used drugs was
guitarist Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix was known for using many other drugs
including LSD, marijuana, and amphetamines. He was arrested in 1969 for possession of
heroin, but he was acquitted of those charges after testifying that the drugs were planted
in his belongings. He died in 1970 of a drug overdose. Cocaine use has been just as prevalent with
the rich and famous but deaths are less common from cocaine use alone. In 2012, Whitney Houston was found submerged
in a filled bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. According to the autopsy report, she died
of a combination of a possible heart attack and cocaine use. And then in August 2014 the world was shocked
when comedian Robin Williams hanged himself in his California home. There has been much debate around the reasons
for William’s death and though most relate it to his ongoing battle with depression,
his widow Susan told people magazine it was a debilitating brain disease called diffuse
Lewy body dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) that took hold of Williams and probably
led him to suicide. Whether depression or brain disease, Robin
Williams was known to have a long standing issue with both alcohol and cocaine. What about the cost of these drugs? As they are on the black market drug prices
are not affected by inflation, like the usual products we purchase. But supply and demand can still have an influence
on the price. Tom Wainwright, the former Economist reporter
in Mexico City and author of Narconomics, told Business Insider, “The price of cocaine
in the United States has hardly moved. In the past couple of decades it’s been about
$150 per pure gram, and that’s barely budged, so there’s a puzzle there.” Wainwright went on to explain that the static
nature of cocaine prices can likely be explained by the hold cartels and other traffickers
have over the cocaine market at its origins. They have the ability to dictate prices to
producers. When it comes to heroin the price depends
upon a number of different factors, such as the type of heroin, the quality and how much
there is available. But the concern with heroin is that the average
street price of a single dose of 0.1g can be as low as $15 to $20 in the US. This can vary state to state but someone with
a full-blown heroin habit may pay between $150 and $200 per day in order to support
his or her habit. There are a few things that are certain and
common to both these drugs. They are widely available, they destroy lives
and though both are illegal substances, but people continue to use them. The war on drugs is a term that was popularized
by the media shortly after a press conference given on June 18, 1971, by President Richard
Nixon. There is much debate and disagreement today
as to whether this war is having a positive effect. Only time will tell. So, do you think it’s working, or do we
need a new solution? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Also, be sure to watch our other video called
– How Did Pablo Escobar Become the King of Cocaine?! Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t
forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time!


  1. Drugs are not the problem. Making them illegal is. People should live their lives as they please. If they have problems then dont judge them and help them. People who become hard addicts do so because society has banish them. Loneliness causes depression and depress people look for an escape from that feeling even if it means drowning in drugs.

  2. legalize all drugs regulated like alcohol moonshine can go up to 110 to 180 proof makes a dangerous makes it illegal drug dealers cut regulated stop the danger let people do what they want to do enough with this War on Drugs

  3. As a former acid user I can’t relate to the effects but when you start to come off acid your body feels like stone and just feel like your dying in general of a sickness I can say for Xanax too

  4. Vapeing wax thinking how gross both those drugs are. Beer and wine are gross also. Roxcycodone is the devil crushed and snorted.

  5. Plain and simple these herbs have went from medical to abusing! When in use medically it can help when abused it will not help. It will ruin what consumes it in an abusive way.

  6. The war on drugs is the biggest waste of money ever. We need ti educate and put the money towards helping people get off drug's. You will never stop or slow down drug use…

  7. wrg, no pleasurx, addicx , contirnux usex etc about it, no usex, drugx doesn't matter, no depresx etc for suchx, anyx

  8. Sugar is the most addictive drug I know.
    It is 1 am and I just went down and instead of drinking cold water; I drank half a bottle of OJ! (not the cheap store bought, but the $7 dollar freshly squeeze one)! Yep that sucker is addictive. I don't mind spending $7 dollars on a bottle of freshly squeeze OJ a day.

  9. I would say caffine is up there with most addictive…. Most deadly though cig or alcohol… Easy to obtain and get hooked on. Especialy together

  10. My opinion is , i will rather take a line of cocane , it is much better than Herion , I haven't taken herion myslef and not planning on ever , for the people that want to try and experience go for a solid line before taking a shot and injecting yourself with nonsense

  11. Ofcourse war on drugs has failed. Make all these drugs legal, controlled and regulated, addicts will be gone in a couple of years and so are the drug lords, cartels and criminals selling them.

  12. Make it legal in a controlled way, , motivate users to live normal lifestyle.n correct treatments for them …
    .. END drug war,, lots of innocent r dieing ,

  13. Kurt never killed himself. Kurt was murdered by his wife. They found papers in her bag showing her practicing replicating Kurt’s handwriting. She faked the suicide note

  14. There's No winning the war on drugs. I don't have any answers on what we should do. But I just know there's no way drugs are going away.

  15. We need a new solution the only thing this war is causing is a lot of death 💀 and it just spreading the addiction

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *