Which Is Harder for An Addict to Stop, Alcohol or Heroin?

Different drugs, prescription, and illegal substances alike have different sensations on their users. Some, like heroin, elicit feelings of euphoria, while others give the user a false sense of security. Since these substances give you a feeling of empowerment, you can end up in addiction. Similarly, breaking an addiction varies depending on the substance in question. Notably, both alcohol and heroin are a big challenge to a significant percentage of the population.

Take, for instance, alcohol, whose addiction is prevalent in the US. Although most people don’t think of alcohol as a particularly dangerous drug, it is among the hardest addictions to kick. Alcohol is so addictive since it contains ethanol, which causes chemical reactions in the brain. Over time, alcohol alters the brain’s functioning such that it will require alcohol to feel normal. Heroin, too, is among the most addictive drugs in the world. Once you take in heroin, your body converts it into morphine, giving you a feeling of euphoria. The rush of pleasure causes you to use heroin over and over again.

Quitting Alcohol vs Quitting Heroin

The truth is drug addictions are tough to overcome. Nevertheless, the quitting experience is not identical. You might wonder, what makes a particular drug harder to quit than the other does? Here are some of the things that influence the disparity:

  • The severity of withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation
  • The level of tolerance created after consistent use of the drug
  • The level of intoxication the drug gives you

Besides these few factors, your mental and physical health circumstances contribute to how easy or hard it is to overcome an addiction. All these factors notwithstanding, we conduct a comparison between quitting alcohol and quitting heroin.

Undoubtedly, heroin is one of the most potent drugs. Although it gives you a feeling of euphoria, the euphoric rush is not the same as that associated with cocaine or crystal meth. However, that does not discredit heroin as one of the most addictive drugs in the world. Given that heroin is cheaper and easier to come by than prescription opioids, overuse is so prevalent. Unfortunately, heroin has devastating and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, making it hard to say goodbye to the drug. Since heroin alters the circuits of your brain, rewiring those damaged areas is not relatively easy.

Similarly, quitting alcohol is not a walk in the park. Alcohol dependence is a complex challenge, given that excessive consumption alters the brain chemistry over time. Just like quitting heroin, you will experience some withdrawal symptoms. However, the extent of these symptoms will depend on factors such as how frequent you used to drink and how much. Since the withdrawal symptoms might make you feel unwell, the chances of a relapse are significant.

Most importantly, it is essential to acknowledge some of the obstacles to sobriety. Apart from the dire withdrawal symptoms, another obstacle is the belief in the myth of willpower. While strong willpower sure helps recover from both heroin and alcohol addiction, breaking the addiction is deeper than that. Addiction is a life-altering brain disease that takes time and skill to reverse. Therefore, don’t beat yourself up if beating the addiction is not as easy as you wanted it to be.

Another significant obstacle is underlying psychological problems. If you are like most people, drug abuse could be a coping mechanism to a psychological or emotional issue that has gone unaddressed. By addressing the problem proactively, the recovery process gets easier.

It would be best if you also acknowledged that beating an addiction takes time, and you need to be patient with yourself. Besides, your journey is unique, and you don’t need to compare your progress against other people. While at it, should you relapse during your journey, that doesn’t mean you failed? It is even harder if you return to the same environment, with the triggers to use. It could be seeing the same friend you had back when you were using drugs. Relapse is quite common, but as you progress, the chances get slimmer.

The good thing is, although some addictions might be harder to break than others, professional treatment can help you achieve a successful recovery. The most important step to beat addiction is making a decision. Are you ready to start the recovery journey? We can help. Give us a call today at 833-820-2922.