Black Tar Heroin

Black tar heroin is a popular form of the illicit substance that is usually found West of the Mississippi River. Typically produced by Mexican drug cartels, black tar heroin is a less pure form of heroin that is just as potent.

Start the road to recovery

(877) 746-0480

    Call Now

    Treatment Center Locator

    What is Black Tar Heroin?

    The dangers of black tar heroin

    As it sounds, black tar heroin is a cruder form of the illicit opioid that is black and sticky in appearance and texture. Also popularly referred to as Mexican black tar heroin due to it being a major export for Mexican cartels, the drug is mostly found West of the Mississippi River in the U.S. and Canada.

    Many hear that black tar heroin isn’t as pure and think that it isn’t as potent as its white, powder form; however, it is just as strong. This misconception can easily lead to people overdosing, thinking that they need more to get the same high. Really, the only difference purity of heroin makes is the relative safety, the comedown, and how it can be taken. Because of its crude form, the sticky tar is difficult to use intravenously. Rather, people who have black tar will smoke or ingest it another way.

    Get started on the road to recovery.

    Effects of Black Tar Heroin

    All heroin carries the same effects. The difference between black tar heroin and white heroin is the purity. While white heroin can be purer, though it is usually cut with other powders to keep the cost down, black tar heroin is typically around 30% pure. This is because of the faster, cruder process that the heroin goes through. While the process makes it cheaper to produce and to buy, it also makes the heroin less pure and more dangerous. General effects of heroin, no matter the color, are the same. These include:

    • Contentment
    • Reduced anxiety
    • Relieved tension
    • Drowsiness
    • Apathy

    Anyone who uses black tar heroin will feel these effects from the first time they use it. Unfortunately, these are also the desired effects that make the drug so addictive. Naturally, the longer someone uses heroin, the more likely they are to overdose as well as develop other disorders and diseases. Long term effects of heroin use include:

    • Insomnia
    • Collapsed veins (from intravenous use)
    • Damaged tissue (where drug is ingested)
    • Infection of the heart lining and valves
    • Abscesses (swollen tissue filled with pus)
    • Constipation and stomach cramps
    • Liver and kidney disease
    • Lung disease
    • Mental disorders
    • Erectile dysfunction in men
    • Irregular menstrual cycles in women
    Questions about treatment?

    Get confidential help 24/7. Call now for:

    • Access to top treatment centers
    • Caring, supportive guidance
    • Financial assistance options
    (855) 826-4464

    Black Tar Heroin Statistics

    While black tar heroin is popular to transport for Mexican drug trafficking organizations, (DTOs), it is typically only transported in small amounts. This keeps the chances of getting caught and the criminal charges down.



    Roughly 80% of Americans who suffer from heroin addiction admit they started with a prescription opioid.



    In 2016, there were 948,000 heroin users in the U.S. A 135% increase from 2003’s 404,000.

    Background image

    Ready to get help?

    Our phone number is available 24/7 to help you or your loved one find a treatment center that suits your needs. It only takes one call to start your new life in recovery.
    Don’t waste another second. Call now to speak with a compassionate treatment expert.

    Speak with an expert (855) 826-4464

    - OR -

    Let us call you
    (877) 746-0480

      Signs of Overdose from Black Tar Heroin

      Signs of heroin overdose include, but aren’t limited to:

      • Shallow breathing
      • Dry mouth
      • Tongue discoloration
      • Very small pupils (pin point pupils)
      • Slow pulse
      • Bluish lips

      If someone begins exhibiting these symptoms, timely use of naloxone can reverse these symptoms and stop an overdose before it turns fatal.

      See how Jerry
      overcame his
      Jerry Lawson sitting in a chair

      Black Tar Heroin Addiction

      Recovery From Black Tar Heroin Use Is Possible With Proper Treatment

      Many who become addicted to heroin do not start heroin because that is what they want. Statistically, the average user will turn to heroin after they’ve already developed an opioid addiction. This is generally from a prescription opioid that they were receiving legally for legitimate pain they had. However, they may not realize that they developed an addiction until their prescription ran out. After that point, they must find a new way to feed the biological craving they are feeling. Symptoms of heroin addiction include:

      • Bloodshot eyes
      • Sudden weight loss
      • Secretive behavior
      • Changes in appearance
      • Lack of motivation
      • Extreme drowsiness or nodding off
      • Financial problems, borrowing money
      • Depression
      • Constipation
      • Slurred speech
      • Paranoia
      • Shortness of breath
      • Collapsed veins
      • Severe itchiness
      • Nausea and vomiting

      Studies report that 80% of the people addicted to heroin once started by using a prescription opioid. After they’ve grown addicted, and their prescription has run out, many turn to purchasing the drug illicitly. It is only after desperation sets in that they will turn to heroin, a cheaper and more potent alternative. Black tar heroin, generally being cheaper than white heroin, is easier for someone to buy. This continues to develop from the stigma around addiction. Despite it being a natural, biological response to the introduction of different medications, society still views it as some form of weakness, making it hard for those suffering to come forward.

      Treatment for Black Tar Heroin Addiction

      If you or someone you love suffer from addiction to black tar or any kind of heroin, do not be afraid to seek help. Many cases of addiction start innocently, with someone just trying to manage physical pain. The worst thing you can do is close yourself off. It will just allow your addiction to grow while you push away those closest to you. If you don’t know where to start, reach out to a dedicated treatment specialist today. They’re here to help you on your way to long-term recovery.

      Get help today

      Don't go through the process of recovery alone. Get in touch with someone who can help.

      (877) 746-0480

        What does it mean that this site is brought to you by Delphi Behavioral Health Group?

        We strive to be fully transparent in all of our relationships. To that end, we want you to be aware that AddictionCenter is compensated by Delphi Behavioral Health Group for the work AddictionCenter does in the development and operation of this site. Delphi Behavioral Health Group was carefully vetted and selected to be a trusted provider and partner with AddictionCenter, based on the quality of treatment that Delphi provides and their rigorous commitment to ethical practices. Learn more about why Delphi Behavioral Health Group is a trusted provider with AddictionCenter.

        All calls to numbers on individual facility listings will always go to the facility listed. All calls to general contact numbers and contact us forms on this site are routed to Delphi Behavioral Health Group. If Delphi Behavioral Health Group is unable to assist with a particular need they are committed to providing direction and assistance in finding appropriate care.

        Get 24/7 help now. All calls free and confidential.

        (855) 826-4464

        Take control of your life

        Our treatment specialists offer 24/7 assistance.

        • Access to top treatment centers
        • Caring, supportive guidance
        • Financial assistance options

        Call now:

        (855) 826-4464


        Have us call you:

        (877) 746-0480

          Where do calls go?

          Calls to numbers dedicated to a specific treatment center profile will be routed to that treatment center. All other calls will be routed to Delphi Behavioral Health Group.

          Rehab experts are available 24/7/365 to answer and return calls routed to Delphi.

          All calls are private and confidential.

          How do we choose our partners?

          Find out more about AddictionCenter.

          A treatment facility paid to have their center promoted here. Learn more about how to be featured in a paid listing.