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Cocaine vs Meth: Similarities and Differences

Cocaine and Meth are both drugs that have a high potential for addiction and people often compare them. If you are addicted to cocaine or meth, it can be hard to tell the difference between the two. The truth is, they are very different in their effects on the body and brain. These two drugs produce different side effects for the user.

In this blog post, we will discuss the similarities and differences between cocaine and meth. The two drugs are very different, but they also have a lot in common. When you compare the two substances side by side, it becomes easier to understand their effects on users

Similarities Between Cocaine and Meth

Cocaine and meth are both stimulant drugs. Cocaine is an addictive, illegal drug that can cause a user to become paranoid and delirious. Methamphetamine is also an addictive, illegal drug but produces more euphoric effects than cocaine does


Cocaine and Meth Are powerfully addictive anesthetics which can be administered orally, through inhalation, intranasally or injection by introducing the drug into the bloodstream via a hollow hypodermic needle.

They create a euphoric high initially and raise dopamine levels. People on both meth and cocaine will seem energetic, talkative, and confident. It can also cause people to stay awake for long periods and suppress one’s appetite.

The Dopamine Effect

Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter which plays a role in how we feel pleasure. Both Meth and Cocaine blocks the breakdown of dopamine making a large amount of it available in the brain. Despite the similarities in how they affect the brain, Meth triggers a higher amount of dopamine to be released, which is why it’s considered more addictive than coke.

Therefore the effects of using both Meth and Cocaine are similar when looking at behavior and physical effects.

Differences Between Cocaine and Meth

There are many differences between cocaine and meth that you should know about. Here are some of the most common differences 


Cocaine also called coke, is naturally occurring and is extracted chemically from large quantities of coca leaves which is mostly grown in South Africa whereas Meth, also known as Methamphetamine, is a man-made substance with the advent of other more efficacious prescription stimulants, and industrial ingredients such battery acid, gasoline additives, muriatic acid and ammonia.

Pharmaceutical application

Cocaine is widely used as a recreational drug and a numbing agent (painkiller) which causes you to not be able to feel tactile sensations. Medically, health care providers use it as a topical anaesthetic for certain kinds of surgery but recreational cocaine use is illegal. 

Meanwhile Meth is an energizer that influences the focal sensory system and causes long-lasting effects on your body. It is now limited to therapeutic use whereas it is FDA approved as an ADHD treatment for severe obesity.


Symptoms of Cocaine UsageSymptoms of Meth Usage
Sleeping disturbances and agitationDecreased appetite
Anxiety and depressionRapid or irregular heartbeat.
Violent, erratic, or paranoid behaviorBeing in a psychotic state.
Psychotic disorders with hallucinationFluctuations in body temperature
Inability to stop its usageStabilization of mood swings
Loss of interest in friends, family, sportsIncreased speech patterns
Dilated pupilsInsomnia
Lack of personal hygiene

Metabolism of the drug

A vast comparison between Meth and Cocaine is the fact that Cocaine is metabolized by the body of the user much more quickly than Meth. Meth tends to last longer, and it stays in the body for a longer period, as well as the brain. Someone who is high on Meth is going to feel the effects much longer than someone high on Cocaine.Case in point : the biological half-life of Meth is 12 hours, while the half-life of Cocaine is relatively one hour.

Impacts of Meth & Cocaine Abuse

There are very distinct differences between Cocaine and Meth, in terms of how these drugs affect the individual both physically and psychologically.Let’s take a look at the risks associated with their use and addiction.

Long term effects of CocaineLong term effects of Meth
Strokes and respiratory failuresDental issues
Gastrointestinal issuesMemory loss
Increased heart rate and blood pressureHypertension
Snorting damages the nose and sinusesImpaired immune system
Kidney damage and heart attacksRepetitive reflexive tasks
Hepatitis or AIDS through shared needlesStrokes, heart attack or any other cardiovascular collapse
Malnourishment and weight lossDependence
Change in metabolism

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