Is Fentanyl Stronger Than Heroin?

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If you or someone you know has been prescribed fentanyl, you might wonder how much stronger is fentanyl than other drugs or what the differences are between fentanyl vs heroin. Many people ask: is fentanyl stronger than heroin? Because it is a prescription, most people assume that it is safe to use, but prescriptions can easily be abused and lead to addiction. 

What is Fentanyl?

In order to understand, “is fentanyl stronger than heroin?” you have to start with understanding what fentanyl is.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more potent than morphine. In prescription form, it goes by names like:

  • Duragesic
  • Actiq
  • Sublimaze

When prescribed, fentanyl is an analgesic, used to alleviate pain. It can be consumed in the form of tablets, pills, oral sprays, nasal sprays, patches, or injected. When prescribed, it is not typically smoked or injected, but in its illegal form, fentanyl can be consumed in a lot of different ways. No matter how it is consumed, it can be very dangerous and runs the risk of an overdose with as little as one use. Regular use of fentanyl quickly builds up a tolerance and leads to a severe addiction. 

So, is fentanyl stronger than heroin?

What is the Difference Between Fentanyl and Heroin?

When it comes to fentanyl vs heroin, know that they are both dangerous and highly addictive. Heroin and fentanyl both bind to the opioid receptors in your brain to help reduce pain and elevate relaxation. They both act very quickly and are potent.


Heroin is derived from morphine, a natural substance taken from the poppy plant. Heroin is an illegal drug and is not used in medicine.


Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, so it is similar to morphine, but it doesn’t come from any natural source. It was originally used as a pain reliever after surgery or for people who had developed a tolerance to opioids, specifical people with chronic pain. Fentanyl is categorized as an analgesic, but because it is man-made, it is up to 100 times more potent than heroin.

One of the differences between fentanyl vs heroin is that fentanyl can build up toxins in the body faster than other opioids like heroin, and that means you can overdose with lower doses of fentanyl and overdose faster. 

Is Fentanyl Stronger Than Heroin?

Answering the question, “is fentanyl stronger than heroin” gets the same result as most opioids: yes. Some people wonder how much stronger is fentanyl than heroin, and the CDC claims about 50 times more. Others wonder how much stronger is fentanyl than morphine, and for that, the CDC and the DEA claim about 100 times stronger. 

Because of how much stronger fentanyl is than heroin or morphine, it builds up a tolerance in the body much quicker. Each time you use fentanyl, whether you were prescribed the drug or not, it changes the way chemicals in your brain function and are produced. Longer exposure to drugs like fentanyl means long-term changes to the brain, your chemical makeup, and how much fentanyl you have to take each subsequent time in order to achieve the same feeling of relaxation and relief.

It is very easy to get addicted to fentanyl; thankfully, there are ways you can get help.

How to Find Fentanyl Detox in Huntington Beach, CA

A detox center that works specifically with fentanyl addiction will be able to provide the medically supervised detox services you need to get rid of any toxins that have built up in your system. This is the first step toward long-term sobriety. 

Ocean Coast Recovery is located in Huntington Beach and gives you a peaceful escape from the chaos of your everyday life. You can choose to fight back against substance abuse with this luxury drug and alcohol rehab center. Our program focuses first on detoxification to help you through the withdrawals of fentanyl addiction with medications, after which we design customized residential inpatient programs with different evidence-based treatments and holistic modalities, each of which gives you the highest chance of success. We know that recovery takes time and effort, with our aftercare programs giving you tools you need well after you leave inpatient treatment.
If you are struggling with fentanyl vs heroin addiction, take the first step and get help. Ocean Coast is here for you.

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