man's face in dimly lit room - black tar heroinWhen most people think of heroin, they picture a white or brown powder. What they don’t realize is that black tar is another type of heroin. Although it’s just as addictive and dangerous as the powder substance, black tar heroin looks and is used differently.

A Description of Black Tar Heroin

This type of heroin is called “black tar,” which is a street term, because of how it looks. It’s black, hard like coal and sticky like roofing tar. Black tar is heavier than powdered heroin, and it goes through a different manufacturing process.

Mexico is the primary source of black tar, and much of it is sold west of the Mississippi River. In fact, it’s the most prevalent type of heroin in Arizona. It’s typically wrapped in plastic and put in balloons for sale.

What Makes Black Tar Look Different?

The reason black tar looks different from the powdered version is because it goes through crude processing methods. This cheaper method leaves impurities in the substance, so it’s not as pure as the powder. In general, black tar is only about 25 to 30% pure.

How Black Tar Is Abused

Most people who use black tar dissolve, dilute and inject it into their muscles and veins or under their skin. They may also smoke it.

Due to the stigma that surrounds the injection of drugs, new heroin users don’t usually start with black tar. Generally, those who use it have been addicted for a long time and don’t care about the purity. Their main focus is that it relieves withdrawal symptoms and gives them a high.

Consequences of Using Black Tar

As with the abuse of most illegal drugs, the medical consequences of heroin can be devastating. However, the consequences depend on the person, the dosage amount, the frequency of use and the presence of pre-existing conditions. These are some of the most common consequences:

  • Abusing black tar has a high risk for addiction, which is a chronic disease. It can cause changes in the brain and in behavior.
  • HIV is a serious risk because users may share the needles or other injecting equipment. Many addicts also become more sexually active, which contributes to the spread of HIV and other STIs.
  • Repeat use of black tar can cause long-term mental impairment. This might affect an addict’s ability to speak, control impulses, make decisions and plans, or remember things.
  • Opiates like heroin repress immune function, which prevents the body from fighting infections.
  • Withdrawal symptoms are a major concern between doses. This may include bone and muscle pain, cold flashes, diarrhea, insomnia, restlessness or vomiting. Some addicts describe withdrawal as having a bad case of the flu.

Black Tar Heroin Treatment Options

Located in Scottsdale, Arizona, Pinnacle Peak Recovery offers a range of addiction treatment programs and therapy. Our staff is sensitive to heroin withdrawal. We’ve teamed up with an off-site detox facility to ensure that you remain as comfortable as possible during the transition.

Call 866-377-4761 for more information about our heroin treatment programs.


Pinnacle Peak Recovery