Many people assume that heroin is the worst type of opioid. This is because it’s commonly associated with use on the streets and the fact that it’s injectable. Drugs like oxycodone are prescribed by a doctor, giving them an air of safety. Unfortunately, this is not truly the case. Both heroin and oxycodone are extremely addictive. It doesn’t matter that one of them is used more heavily on the streets than the other, they both have addictive properties, and can both cause dependence.
That begs the question, is heroin or oxycodone more addictive? While heroin is made from Morphine (commonly used in hospital settings for intense pain), oxycodone is prescribed for pain, to be used outside of the hospital. Let’s take a deep dive into these two drugs and attempt to learn if one is really more addictive than the other.
The Dangers of Heroin and Oxycodone
Both types of drugs present dangers to users. They’re both types of opioids, making them highly addictive and dangerous to use long term. However, heroin presents dangers that oxycodone doesn’t. With an injectable substance like heroin, users run the risk of getting sick by sharing needles. Oxycodone that is sold on the street also presents dangers, as many dealers will sell other pills, claiming that they’re oxycodone. Usually, these pills contain fentanyl, which is much more potent and dangerous in high doses.
Which one is More Addictive?
The stigma that oxycodone is safer than heroin comes from its use case and nothing more. These two drugs are very similar in structure and the way that they affect the brain when used. Both are addictive and both pose risk for addiction. However, because oxycodone and heroin aren’t framed in the same way, oxycodone may actually be more addictive.
Heroin is seen as an extremely addictive street drug, while oxycodone is seen as a safe drug used to treat pain after surgery or traumatic events. The danger of oxycodone comes from the stigma, the fact that it’s overprescribed. Patients who use oxycodone often don’t know the dangers associated with the drug. Because of this, they may become dependent on it without even knowing.
When it comes to heroin, it’s widely known that the substance is addictive and dangerous. However, what happens when someone becomes dependent on oxycodone and their prescription ends? Many turn to street drugs, such as heroin, because they feel they have no other choice in the matter.
Comparing Withdrawal Symptoms
Both drugs result in similar withdrawal symptoms, as they’re both opioids. Opioid abuse leads to addiction quickly. As soon as the body is dependent on the drug, it may feel impossible to quit. Once the drug is out of your system, withdrawal symptoms begin. These symptoms can feel like the flu, making the body weak and fatigued. Alongside flu-like symptoms, cravings will increase, making it seem impossible to carry on without using heroin or oxycodone.
Thankfully, inpatient and detoxification programs help patients through this tough time. By closely monitoring patients as they detox from opioids can help to drastically reduce the risk of relapse. From there, it’s up to the patient to work on learning proper coping mechanisms and trigger avoidance to continue reducing their risk.
Seek Treatment for Opioid Abuse
If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid abuse, it’s time to seek help. Here at Asheville Recovery Center, we offer a partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient treatment, and more. Call us today to learn more about the programs we offer and how we can help you get and stay sober. We’re eager to help you on your road to recovery.