Last Updated on October 18, 2023 by Dr. Alberto Solà

You’ve heard of heroin, but have you heard of black tar heroin? This cruder form of heroin is common in the United States, particularly west of the Mississippi River. Because people think that it’s not as strong as regular heroin, people tend to use larger dosages of black tar heroin, but it is just as strong despite being presented in a different form than many are used to. As a result, the use of black tar heroin often leads to a high frequency of overdoses for its users. Further, because black tar heroin is thick and sticky by nature, it’s challenging to use intravenously unless it’s cooked. Many users instead consume black tar heroin by smoking it, which makes it further difficult to regulate dosage.

Heroin of all kinds is dangerous, but black tar heroin maybe even more so. Read on to learn more about this dangerous drug.

Brief Overview of Black Tar Heroin

Black tar heroin is common in the United States. It can be found anywhere in our country, but it seems to be more common on the west coast. It’s called black tar heroin because it’s black and sticky in texture. Some people refer to it as Mexican black tar heroin because it’s commonly sold and distributed by Mexican drug cartels. 

What is Black Tar Heroin?

Black tar heroin offers the same effects as regular heroin. People think it’s less pure than regular heroin, but that’s not really the case. In fact, regular, powdered heroin is actually often less pure because the white powder form is often cut with other powders. Most regular heroin in the United States today is only about 30% pure. On the other hand, black tar heroin is often more pure because it’s not cut with anything. The reason black tar heroin exists is that the process to produce it is cheaper for those who produce it, sell it, and distribute it, even though it’s as pure or purer than standard, regular heroin.

Differences Between Black Tar and Other Forms of Heroin

The differences between black tar heroin and other forms of heroin are often obvious. Black tar heroin is a sticky, black substance that looks like tar – hence the name. Regular heroin usually comes in powder form instead. Although some people believe that black tar heroin is, in some ways, safer than regular heroin because it’s often not injected, that’s not at all the case. Black tar heroin is as dangerous as regular heroin, if not more so in many cases.

Signs and Symptoms of Black Tar Heroin Addiction

The signs and symptoms of black tar heroin addiction are the same as for addiction to regular heroin. The two forms of this drug have the same effects on its users. People struggling with heroin addiction may experience symptoms like insomnia, constipation, stomach cramps, erectile dysfunction in men, and irregular menstrual cycles in women. Longer-term use can lead to liver and kidney disease, lung disease, tissue damage, collapsed veins from intravenous use, damaged tissue, abscesses, and infections of the heart and lung valves.

It may be amazing to some that some people addicted to heroin are able to live with their addiction for many years, seemingly with few complications. However, the damage to the body may be below the surface and is difficult to measure without medical testing. Regardless, heroin addiction is extremely dangerous, and thousands of people die from it each year. Every time a heroin user uses heroin – black tar or regular, intravenous or not, he or she is risking his or her life. Overdoses happen regularly and often kill people. Using heroin is never worth the risk.

Health Risks and Complications of Black Tar Heroin Addiction

As with regular heroin, there are many health risks and complications that come with using black tar heroin. The inability to determine the potency of each heroin purchase paired the fact that any heroin may be cut with other substances, plus the long-term effects of use on the body, are all factors that make heroin one of the most dangerous drugs on the planet.

Short-Term Risks

Short-term risks of black tar heroin use include overdose, which can lead to death. Again, because black tar heroin comes in a different form than regular heroin, many users don’t realize that it’s equally potent, if not more so, than regular heroin. People may be lulled into a false sense of security when using black tar heroin because they are often smoking it instead of using it intravenously. This is why black tar heroin use results in so many medical emergencies.

Mental Health Crises

Research using brain scans has shown that regular, long-term abuse of heroin can change the way that the brain functions, although the reasons for this are not yet fully understood. As a result, heroin use can lead to mental health problems that were not present in an individual before he or she started using. Furthermore, addiction in general, can lead to mental health problems like bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and more. Although the effects of heroin are attractive to some, the use of this drug is not worth the risk for both physical and mental health reasons.

Treatment Options for Black Tar Heroin Addiction

Fortunately, people do break free from addiction to heroin and from black tar heroin in particular. Without a doubt, heroin is one of the hardest drugs to quit, but people do succeed in recovery from heroin addiction every day and go on to lead happy, healthy, and productive lives. Although some people do manage to stop using heroin independently, most people require medical intervention to quit because withdrawal symptoms are so intense and painful. Further, ongoing therapy, counseling, and support is required for success in almost all cases.

Detoxification and Medical Intervention

Most people addicted to heroin or black tar heroin require medical intervention to get through the intense withdrawals that come with cessation of use. In fact, it’s even possible for people to die from opiate withdrawal – that’s how serious it is. As a result, it’s wise for anyone wishing to quit using heroin to seek professional help when stopping. 

During the acute withdrawal period, people quitting heroin or black tar heroin may experience severe muscle aches and pains, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and agitation, a racing heart rate, digestive discomfort and worse. For some, this period only lasts a few hours, but for others, it can last as long as four weeks.

The post-acute withdrawal follows, and it, too, can be painful and nearly unbearable. During this period, most people experience stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. They will also likely go through periods of depression and will have severe cravings for the drug. It’s important to know that these symptoms are normal and they will cease in time, even though it may not feel like it in the moment.

Withdrawal from heroin and black tar heroin is one of the most difficult things that users will experience in their entire lives. However, it is something one must get through and bear in order to break free from the drug once and for all.

Behavioral Therapy and Counseling

During and after withdrawal, behavioral therapy and counseling is crucial to keep someone in recovery on the right path. Heroin and black tar heroin will always be there and will always call to former users, and its voice is very strong. However, with proper support, people do break free from addiction and many never use ever again. It’s important to remember this every step of the way. People do recover, and you can, too.

Long-Term Recovery Support

Long-term recovery support is also helpful when someone has been addicted to heroin or black tar heroin for a short or long period. Thanks to support groups and experienced professionals, there is always someone that you can turn to when you are craving the drug. The most important thing is to not succumb to cravings, no matter how long you have not used the drug. Even with one use, it’s extremely easy to become addicted again immediately. It’s not worth it.

Clear Sky Ibogaine Can Help

If you are addicted to heroin or to black tar heroin, we can help you at Clear Sky Ibogaine. At our facility in Cancun, Mexico, we offer our innovative ibogaine treatment, which is useful for the cessation of many addictions, but which seems to be especially effective for people struggling with addiction to opioids. This natural substance will help you to break free from your addiction and will help you get to the root of the problem; you will discover why and how you became addicted in the first place. Further, many people who use ibogaine to break free from addiction to opioids report reduced withdrawal symptoms. This can be a big help to people who fear the challenges that they will face when stopping use.

Our experienced staff is standing by to answer any questions you have about Clear Sky Ibogaine, ibogaine in general, our process, our program, our success rates, and our facility. Please give us a call today. We are here to help, and we want to help you.