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Cocaine Vs. Meth: Differences, Similarities, and Effects

An upset man thinks about meth and coke while he puts his hands up to his face.
Both coke and meth can destroy your health.


Methamphetamine (meth) and cocaine are both powerful stimulants that affect the central nervous system, but that’s where the similarities end. 

The main differences between meth and cocaine include their 

  • Chemical structure
  • Duration of effects
  • Cost
  • Method of injection
  • Physical effects and high 
  • Addictive nature
  • Demographics

Meth Vs. Coke: 7 Main Differences

Are meth and cocaine the same? No, not at all. 

Here’s a closer look at the differences between meth and cocaine.

  1. Chemical structure: When it comes to the chemical structure, meth is a manmade amphetamine-based drug created through a variety of store-bought chemicals. Cocaine comes from the leaves of the coca bush plant and is a tropane alkaloid.
  2. Duration of effects: Meth’s effects can last up to 24 hours, while cocaine is usually felt for less than an hour. 
  3. Method of injection: Cocaine is injected or snorted, while meth is taken orally, snorted, injected, or smoked. 
  4. Physical effects and high: Meth produces a longer feeling of euphoria that can last a few hours, while cocaine has a shorter, intense high that lasts about an hour. Both meth and cocaine increase heart rate and blood pressure. Meth also causes physical damage to your health, such as tooth decay and skin sores. 
  5. Cost: Cocaine is significantly more expensive than meth.
  6. Addictive nature: Meth and cocaine are both very addictive. However, meth might be more addictive than cocaine. 
  7. Demographics: Demographic trends show that cocaine is more often used by white men with a college education and full-time jobs, whereas meth is used by white men with only some college experience and no full-time job.

Health Issues for Meth and Coke Users

Cocaine and meth produce many of the same short-term negative consequences, such as anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. The long-term effects are different, although very serious for both drugs.

Long-term cocaine use is associated with heart attack, stroke, lung damage, and infertility. Long-term meth use is associated with damage to the teeth, gums, lungs, kidneys, and liver. 

Meth users can also experience hallucinations and have skin infections. It’s also associated with a kind of brain damage that’s similar to that caused by Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

What is the difference between meth and cocaine? Think of it like this: Cocaine is more toxic to the heart, and meth is more toxic to the brain.

In other words, neither drug can be safely used.

Hope and Healing at The Raleigh House

At The Raleigh House, our first goal is to make you feel safe and comfortable. You are assigned your own master’s level therapist, who will work with you to come up with a plan for rehab as well as your long-term life goals.

One-on-one and group therapy sessions will help you heal emotionally. Chef-prepared meals and activities like yoga and boxing help heal your body. Meanwhile, you’ll stay in a clean, cozy setting that feels like home. Our staff works to treat you like family.

Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the cocaine addiction treatment program or the meth addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.


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