Author: Alex Thompson

How is methamphetamine different from other stimulants, such as cocaine? National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA

what is the difference between cocaine and meth

While in treatment at a Delphi facility, we offer rides to and from any off-campus appointments. Cocaine is an illicit drug rarely used as a local anesthetic in some surgical procedures. This is far rarer than it once was, and meth is actually used more for medical purposes than cocaine. The CDC reports that cocaine overdose deaths rose by 26.5 percent. Overdose deaths related to psychostimulants, including meth, rose by 34.8 percent, and meth overdose deaths have exceeded cocaine overdose deaths.

what is the difference between cocaine and meth

Smoking crack has immediate effects and produces an intense high that doesn’t last long, so people smoke more of the drug to stay high. Despite the differences, both result in severe side effects. A main difference is how they are metabolized by the body. This can contribute to the likelihood of abuse and addiction.

When compared to other stimulants, the high of meth is incredibly long-lasting. Many people who abuse meth go on binges, where they are high for several days at a time. Despite their differences, both meth and cocaine are dangerous drugs to misuse.

While meth is generally illegal, it’s sometimes prescribed in pill form to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obesity. While the drugs are similar in many ways, they also have some important differences. Because of this, cocaine metabolites have longer elimination half-lives than cocaine. The elimination half-life refers to the time it would take the body to eliminate half of any drug dose administered. Both substances have a high potential for abuse and psychological and physical dependence. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has labeled both as Schedule II substances under the controlled substances act.

Despite their differences, they’re both considered Schedule II substances according to the DEA. Neither substance is worse than the other; both of them are dangerous. Peak concentrations of crack cocaine will occur within 5 to 10 minutes of smoking. This differs from snorting cocaine, where peak concentrations arise after 60 minutes.

Treatment Options For Cocaine And Meth Addiction In New England

As a result, both meth and cocaine can cause some similar effects, such as heightened energy, fast heart rate, increased blood pressure, and even anxiety or paranoia. While these drugs have many things in common, they have some key differences as well. Cocaine and meth are central nervous system depressants, but several key differences set them apart. Misusing or abusing them can lead to substance use disorders and overdose. Both are in the broad category of substances called central nervous system stimulants, which work by increasing activity in your nervous system. That means they both can have similar exciting effects like alertness, euphoria, and a sense of empowerment.

  1. The elimination half-life of methamphetamine is 12 hours.
  2. NIDA writes that it is chemically like amphetamine, the drug prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy.
  3. Crack cocaine looks like opaque or yellow rocks that vary in shape and size.

Some more dangerous additives may include synthetic opioids, including fentanyl and amphetamine. Addiction is a serious disease that makes you feel unable to stop using a drug. It occurs when your brain gets used to the excess amounts of dopamine caused by drug use. Both substances are highly addictive and cause severe health problems when abused.

Meth vs Other Stimulants

Meth and crack are equally dangerous and harmful to your health. Both illicit substances can cause serious health issues, overdose, or death. The body breaks down cocaine and methamphetamine differently, which means the duration of the effects also differ. The effects of cocaine can last one to two hours, depending on the method of use, weight, metabolism, and tolerance. Addiction treatment should help you heal in every possible way.

what is the difference between cocaine and meth

As previously mentioned, addiction is a treatable, chronic disease of the brain that alters how its reward system functions. People dependent on or addicted to cocaine or meth have options for finding treatment for a substance use disorder and any co-occurring mental health disorder. It is entirely possible to stop using coke or meth and remain drug-free for life. Meth is a powerful stimulant drug that is used medicinally to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) under the brand name Desoxyn. However, most people who misuse this substance are not receiving it via prescription. Instead, they are buying an illicit form of meth that may contain dangerous household chemicals and adulterants.

What Is Methamphetamine?

This can mean other effects like sleeplessness, alertness, hypervigilance, and anxiety. As the drugs wear off, you may experience uncomfortable comedown symptoms like insomnia, panic, and paranoia. There is, however, an encouraging method from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) called MIEDAR (Motivation Incentives for Enhancing Drug Abuse Recovery). It has been used to promote cocaine and methamphetamine abstinence.

To learn more about addiction treatment options, please reach out to Northeast Addictions Treatment Center. Our board-certified health care providers offer personalized, comprehensive care to help you stay healthy and sober. Your brain then produces less dopamine naturally, which makes it difficult to feel pleasure from activities that don’t involve drugs. Some forms of meth (e.g., crystal meth) are so addictive that those who try the drug for the first time may get hooked on the substance immediately after that. Misusing meth can lead to addiction, overdose, and death. Crack cocaine can quickly develop an addiction in some people because of how fast the drug acts.

It only takes about an hour for it to be reduced to half of its concentration in your blood. Meth has a half-life that is much longer—as much as 10 to 12 hours after your last dose. However, that doesn’t mean the euphoric effects of meth will last very long.

We are also in-network with several providers, including Aetna, Cigna, and a few others. Give us a call to verify if your insurance plan covers drug rehab services. The level of care that you will be placed in will determine the types of services available for you to in treatment. It is known that the physical effects of meth abuse are more noticeable than those of coke. Meth users will have sores on the skin, decayed and missing teeth, sunken eyes, and appear to have wasting syndrome (be very thin). People abusing meth will avoid eating and lose all sense of time.

That is one difference between the two – the side effects of meth withdrawal last far longer than cocaine. Unfortunately, the meth of today is far more potent than in the past. But as we’ve mentioned several times throughout this article, the differences are vast. Another significant difference is the half-life of the two drugs.

More individuals used cocaine than meth in 2016, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The 2017 report showed that about 667,000 people aged 12 or older used methamphetamine in the past month, while about 1.9 million used cocaine in the past month. The amount of time meth stays in the body depends on individual health factors such as base metabolic rate, overall health, frequency of use, tolerance, and method of use. Meth causes higher concentrations of dopamine in the synapse, not only by preventing the removal of dopamine, but also by increasing the production and release of dopamine. The synapse is the space between two neurons where dopamine and other neurotransmitters are recycled. The constant build-up of dopamine in the synapse causes intense euphoria.