Effects Of Black Tar Heroin

Heroin is an opioid capable of slowing the heart and lungs to dangerous levels, among other effects. Continued and long-term use can lead to multi-system organ failure and an increased risk of heroin overdose.

Get Help Now!
Dr. Langdon M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly Langdon M.D.


Black tar heroin is an opioid that causes a brief rush of euphoria. It activates the opioid receptors of the brain, triggering a short-lived release of dopamine.

In the short term, heroin use can cause dangerous slowing of your breathing and heart rate, as well as a host of other side effects.

Physical Effects Of Black Tar Heroin

Black tar heroin is usually smoked or injected in its diluted form. Both methods hit the brain quickly. At first, you will likely experience a sensation similar to prescription painkillers as well as dry mouth, nausea, and severe itching.

For hours after the initial high, you will be in a semi-conscious state. During this time, your limbs will start to feel heavy.

Your heart rate and your breathing will become dangerously slow. You will feel drowsy and have difficulty staying conscious.

Learn more about the physical effects of heroin.

Behavioral Effects Of Black Tar Heroin

Other than drowsiness, the initial effects of black tar heroin don’t have a direct effect on behavior. With that said, it is a highly addictive drug. Addiction to heroin and general substance abuse can absolutely affect behavior.

Heroin is well-known for building high tolerance and leading to addiction quickly. The average heroin user can only go a few hours before they begin to feel withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal from heroin without professional intervention is severe. Many people who use heroin find themselves doing things that are completely out of character just to make it stop.

Mental Effects Of Black Tar Heroin

Research has shown that heroin, including black tar heroin, damages the brain. This damage inhibits normal neural and hormonal function.

As a result, the side effects of heroin may affect your mental health. If you use heroin, you are more likely to struggle with self-regulation. You may find it hard to make normal decisions, and you may lash out when under stress.

Overall, drug addiction wreaks havoc on your mental state. It can feel like you’re losing control, which often results in depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.

Find out more about how heroin affects the brain.

Difference Between Black Tar Heroin And Other Forms Of Heroin

Black tar heroin is made in Mexico, and it’s usually sold west of the Mississippi River. It is the least pure form of heroin at only 25-30% purity. However, it is just as potent.

As with other forms of heroin, black tar heroin is derived from the seed pods of poppy plants. Black tar heroin resembles a lump of coal that’s sticky like roofing tar.

All other heroin comes in powder form. It ranges in color from pure white powder to brown powder, and it is made in South America as well as Asia. Powdered heroin is typically more pure, but it is often cut with other additives.

All drug use is dangerous, but black tar heroin is somewhat more threatening. There is a common misconception that black tar heroin is less potent because it is less pure. This is incorrect, leading far too many people to accidentally overdose.

Learn about the different types of heroin.

Risk Factors Of Heroin Abuse

Heroin use is inherently dangerous. However, there are other risk factors that you should consider.

If you use black tar heroin, you are more likely to develop a heart infection and have other major organ complications. Other long-term effects include a higher risk of pneumonia, tuberculosis, and organ failure.

Additional risks associated with heroin use on each delivery system:

Treatment Programs For Heroin Use Disorder

Making the choice to stop using heroin is a difficult first step, but there are people who can help you. At Bedrock Recovery Center we do everything to give you the support you need.

Treatment begins with monitored detox. We know that detox is hard, but we believe that it doesn’t need to be unbearable.

That is why your detox will be monitored 24/7, allowing specialized staff to treat your withdrawal symptoms as they come.

When you’re ready, you will be able to choose the heroin treatment options that work for you.

Find Heroin Addiction Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

Heroin addiction doesn’t have to control your life. If you or a loved one need help, contact Bedrock Recovery Center today to learn about our inpatient and outpatient heroin treatment plans.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Heroin https://www.cdc.gov/opioids/basics/heroin.html
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse — Heroin DrugFacts https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse — Heroin Research Report https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/what-are-medical-complications-chronic-heroin-use

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

Prefer Texting?
We've got you covered.

Receive 24/7 text support right away.
There is no obligation and you can opt out at any time.

Sign up for text support

Receive 24/7 text support right away.
There is no obligation and you can opt out at any time.
Ready to make a change? Talk to a specialist now.
(617) 657-2877
icon-angle icon-bars icon-times