People often compare cocaine and methamphetamine (meth) because they’re both stimulants. While both of these drugs are dangerous, there are a few differences that you should know. The differences between cocaine and meth abuse include the impact each drug has on the central nervous system.
Whether you’re battling meth or cocaine abuse, we can help. The Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston team has experience assisting people in withdrawing from meth, cocaine, and many other addictive substances. We offer a range of therapeutic options to help clients understand their substance use disorder and healthily manage their triggers and stressors. At our Texas detox center, we are committed to assisting clients to overcome their addictions. To learn more about our treatment options or to enroll in our meth or cocaine detox center, call Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston today at 866.516.8356.
Meth Abuse Basics
Meth is a manufactured drug that belongs to a group of synthetic and natural substances called substituted amphetamines. There are two types or forms of meth, which are I-methamphetamine and d-methamphetamine. The latter of the two is the only one that’s illegal and produces a high. When people talk about meth on the street, d-methamphetamine is what they mean. Symptoms of meth abuse may include:
- Scars from intense scratching
- Rotting teeth, a condition known as meth mouth
- Paranoia, irritability, and confusion
- Thinning body
- Sores or acne
These symptoms can be evident to those around the person using meth, which may cause the individual to withdraw from their loved ones.
Cocaine Abuse Basics
Unlike meth, cocaine begins as a natural substance from the coca plant. After intense manufacturing processes, the finished product makes its way to people to buy illegally on the street. Cocaine production often takes weeks and involves harsh chemicals like gasoline.
Like meth, cocaine abuse causes paranoia and irritability. However, other symptoms of cocaine use can include:
- Sensitivity to sounds, lights, and feelings
- Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
- Increased body temperature and heart rate
- Tremors and muscle twitching
Cocaine vs. Meth
Dopamine is a brain chemical that helps form feelings of joy and euphoria. Often, when a person struggles with drug addiction, their natural dopamine production is affected, and they may have trouble making it on their own. Cocaine and meth block the normal breakdown of dopamine in the brain, temporarily increasing the dopamine supply. Meth raises dopamine to a much higher level than cocaine by forcing brain cells to produce even more dopamine.
That’s not the only difference between cocaine and meth. Another big one is how long the high lasts. Drugs start to lose their effect based on their half-life, or how fast the body breaks down or metabolizes the toxins. In most cases, the body can metabolize about half of a cocaine dose in an hour.
The half-life isn’t the same for meth. It can take the body up to 12 hours to metabolize the same amount of meth in many cases. What does this mean in the real world? People who use meth experience a more intense high that lasts much longer than those who use cocaine.
Cocaine and Meth Detox
Cocaine and meth users may feel withdrawal symptoms within 24 hours of their last dose. Common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Intense drug cravings
- Sleep issues
Because the high from meth lasts much longer than cocaine, people who detox from meth may experience withdrawal symptoms for up to two weeks in some cases. In general, the withdrawal process is different for everyone. Some people may feel only mild symptoms, while others experience more severe reactions.
The best way to detox from cocaine or meth is in a medically-supervised detox center. There, clinicians can monitor vital signs and ensure clients are as safe and comfortable as possible during withdrawal. After the initial detox period, people typically transition to an inpatient or outpatient treatment program to begin addressing the underlying causes of addiction.
Get Help at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston Today
Regardless of whether people have an addiction to cocaine or meth, the first step toward recovery is detox. At Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston, we know the difference between these two drugs and design our detox programs accordingly. We strive to provide quality service that you can count on. Some of the services that we offer include:
- Meth detox program
- Individualized care
- Alcohol detox program
- Residential detox
- Cocaine detox program
Don’t let someone fool you into thinking that all stimulants are the same. Learn more about cocaine vs. meth. Reach out to Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston for help today at 866.516.8356.