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Explainer – What is Black Tar Heroin?

Have you ever heard the term Black Tar Heroin?

I hear it sometimes, and it always has some scary, daunting quality to it, even more so than the term heroin alone.

Aside from being scary, black tar heroin is also a little vague so I thought I would brake it down for all those not in the know.

First things first, is black tar heroin actually black? Yes, very much so. That black color does not come from an additive not contained in regular heroin, but from a crude manufacturing process.

Refining heroin takes precise and complex lab equipment, along with a lengthy and possibly expensive reflux process. Black tar heroin does not take the same amount of time, chemical usage and precision to produce.

So in short, black tar heroin is a cheaper, not as pure form of heroin. Most black tar is produced in Latin America, and consumed in the western and southern United States. Although some black tar heroin makes it’s way around the globe, it’s mostly used in the US.

Injecting black tar heroin can be substantially more dangerous that powered heroin, causing the hardening of veins, which can not be injected into again. With this in mind, black tar users have come up with alternative methods of use:

  • Grinding into a powder form and snorting
  • Water looping is when the heroin is dissolved into water and dripped into the nose
  • Smoking the heroin off of a tin foil or a piece of metal
  • The most effective method is a suppository. This is especially useful because it requires no other paraphernalia, such as a needle.

I hope that answered some simple introductory questions you might have had about black tar heroin.

If you have any other topics you are curious about, let me know in the comments below and we may write an explainer on it in the future!

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