Meth vs Heroin: Understanding the Side Effects, Addiction, and Dangers

heroin vs meth

Both heroin and meth are two highly addictive and harmful drugs that many people around the world abuse. They’re both Schedule 1 substances, meaning that they have little to no medical use but are highly addictive. Either way, they’re both dangerous, but understanding the dangers and hazards that are specific to both types of drugs can prove incredibly useful if you’re trying to break out of addiction or are helping someone else break it.

What Is Meth?

Meth is a white, odorless powder that is also known as crystal, crank, speed, and ice. It is a highly addictive, man-made drug that is chemically similar to amphetamine, and they are typically made in large professional labs or in homes with cookbooks and instructions that can be purchased online. It is often made using very toxic and icky chemicals that are easily absorbed into the body.

Meth is highly addictive because it floods the user’s brain with dopamine, a chemical that brings pleasure and gives us the alert feeling known as “the rush.”

How Is Meth Taken?

Meth is usually taken orally, snorted, mixed in a drink, or smoked. It gives the user a quick and intense high because of how it’s processed in the human body. Also, it shares many of the same characteristics as amphetamine, including a high potential for abuse and addiction.

Why Do People Use Meth?

Meth is used to treat obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also used to treat the pain caused by cancer or to help the elderly with fatigue. These medical uses are rare and so rare, in fact, that they are only used in extreme cases.

what does meth smell like
What Does Meth Look Like

What Are the Effects of Meth?

The effects of meth are similar to that of cocaine and amphetamine. But, unlike these two drugs, meth is thought to be more toxic to the body than other stimulants. Meth can cause a person to become paranoid or aggressive. Some common effects of meth include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Confusion
  • Psychosis
  • Disorientation
  • Spending large amounts of time awake
  • Fever
  • Blurred vision
  • Teeth grinding
  • Weight loss

What Are the Dangers of Meth?

Meth can cause cardiovascular and neurological problems, which can lead to death. Meth can also cause a user to become violent and suicidal. Over time, meth builds up in the body and damages the brain’s ability to produce dopamine, which can also result in depression and nerve damage, ultimately leading to death.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Meth?

Meth causes damage to the brain and body. Some long-term effects include:

  • Skin sores
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Weight loss
  • Lung infections
  • Constipation

These are just some of the long-term effects of meth, but there are many more.

Are There Any Withdrawal Effects of Meth?

Yes, a user who stops using meth will go through withdrawal, which is hard to stop. Symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Aggression

The withdrawal process from meth can leave a person feeling like they are in hell, with anxiety that leaves them unable to eat or sleep.

What Is Heroin?

Heroin is a highly addictive opiate or opioid drug. It is a Schedule 1 substance and can be injected, smoked, or snorted. But, despite its legality, it is very easy to overdose on heroin. It is the most commonly abused illegal drug in the United States, and more than half of people who use it will eventually become addicted to it.

Heroin is the second most common drug that causes accidental deaths in the U.S. In fact, more Americans now die from heroin overdose than from car accidents. The overprescription of pain medication has led to a resurgence in heroin use and abuse in recent years.

How Is Heroin Taken?

Heroin is usually injected, smoked, or snorted, though it can be eaten or drunk as well. It is typically brown or white in color and is often referred to as “smack,” “junk,” or “skag.”

Why Do People Use Heroin?

They use heroin because of its euphoric effects and how it makes them feel relaxed. People use heroin because of how good it feels, especially when compared to other drugs.

What Are the Effects of Heroin?

When you use heroin for the first time, you’ll feel a surge of euphoria, but after that first time, it becomes very difficult to use heroin without feeling sick. Some common effects of heroin include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Respiratory problems
  • Itchiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

In addition to these discomforts, people can also become very drowsy, especially if they take it in a higher dose.

What Are the Dangers of Heroin?

Overdosing is one of the biggest dangers associated with heroin use. Heroin overdose can stop breathing only minutes after injection. It can also cause heart failure. In addition, heroin is very addictive. It causes the brain to release dopamine, which elicits feelings of pleasure. And, even though heroin users may feel high, they can become very depressed and anxious due to the withdrawal process.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Heroin?

Heroin, just like meth, causes damage to the brain and body. Some long-term effects include:

  • Collapsed veins
  • Constipation
  • Infections
  • Skin infections and abscesses
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • Pulmonary complications

These are just some of the long-term effects of heroin, and, like meth, it has many other effects that can seriously hurt the user.

heroin addict
What Does Heroin Look Like

Are There Any Withdrawal Effects of Heroin?

Withdrawal symptoms can be very intense, and they can make a person feel sick, depressed, and anxious. Common withdrawal symptoms of heroin include:

  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Muscle aches
  • Abdominal cramps

During the withdrawal process, users will likely feel the symptoms listed above.

How Do They Compare?

As you can see, both heroin and meth are two highly addictive substances that can cause a lot of damage to a person’s body. Both drugs are highly addictive and can lead to serious health problems. However, as you can see, heroin is more dangerous than meth.

This is because meth doesn’t have the same long-lasting effects on the body that heroin does. That being said, both drugs are very dangerous, and you should never try either of these drugs. If you are addicted to them or know someone that is, it is vital to find help immediately to increase the chances of successfully breaking from the addiction.

How Does One Get Treated for Meth or Heroin Addiction?

It can be very difficult to quit meth or heroin, but there are many treatment centers that specialize in treating addiction. There, you will find trained and experienced counselors that can help you and anyone else you know who is addicted to the substances we talked about today to find the help needed to finally live a clean life!


As we’ve seen, addiction is not a pretty process. It ruins a person’s life and leaves that person feeling like they are in hell. People who are addicted to heroin and meth deserve better, and if you know someone who is addicted to either of these two substances, you should offer them help.