Smoking is one method of delivery for people using black tar heroin. Other common methods of heroin consumption include snorting and injecting the opioid, but the method depends on the forms of heroin used.
The powder form of heroin can be snorted, smoked, or injected. Mexican black tar heroin does not come in a powder form, so it is generally smoked or diluted and injected.
How Is Black Tar Heroin Smoked?
To smoke black tar heroin, users typically use a piece of aluminum foil and a cylindrical device. A small piece of black tar heroin is placed on top of the foil.
The heroin is then melted by heating the foil with a lighter. As the heroin melts, it emits fumes that can be inhaled.
Is Smoking Heroin The Same As “Freebasing”?
Using a foil to smoke heroin is not technically freebasing because it doesn’t use the same delivery system.
Freebasing a drug like heroin would require the use of a specialized glass pipe and the ability to get the heroin to the point of boiling.
Using a glass pipe is relatively common among people who smoke heroin. The direct connection between the bowl where the heroin is melting and the user’s mouth allows for more concentrated vapor.
Effects Of Smoking Black Tar Heroin
All drug use has the potential for long-lasting and dangerous side effects. Smoking black tar heroin can be particularly dangerous because it is an entirely unregulated opiate.
Physical Effects Of Smoking Black Tar Heroin
Smoking heroin induces effects faster than snorting it. You can generally expect to feel the effects in a matter of seconds rather than minutes.
Aside from the short-lived feeling of euphoria, there are a lot of harmful physical effects of heroin.
Dry mouth, heavy limbs, and nausea are all common physical effects. Once the initial rush has worn off, drowsiness sets in. You may drift in and out of consciousness and be unable to respond coherently.
During this time, your heart function and breathing are slowed. They may become dangerously slow, requiring emergency medical care. Those are just the short-term side effects.
With chronic use, smoking black tar heroin can lead to damage to the nasal tissue, chronic pneumonia, lung damage, and other issues.
Mental Effects Of Smoking Black Tar Heroin
Studies show that heroin use damages the brain. This damage creates hormonal and neural imbalances that impair basic functions.
Heroin smoking may make it difficult for you to make important decisions. It may also make it harder for you to regulate your behavior, especially if you’re stressed. You may even notice that your mental health is deteriorating.
Behavioral Effects Of Smoking Black Tar Heroin
All of this combined with the high level of dependence that heroin causes will result in dramatic changes to your behavior. At the very least, you may be irritable and unpredictable.
If your addiction becomes severe enough, you may find yourself doing things you wouldn’t normally do to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Unfortunately, heroin also produces a high degree of tolerance, so you’re likely to need even more as time goes on.
Paraphernalia Associated With Black Tar Heroin Use
The paraphernalia associated with black tar heroin use will vary depending on whether the person usually injects the drug or smokes it.
Black tar heroin itself looks something like a sticky lump of coal. It is often wrapped in plastic and masking tape for the journey from Mexico, but it may come in other containers.
Smoking paraphernalia may include a glass pipe, foils, lighters, and any cylindrical objects for inhaling vapor. Injection paraphernalia may include a spoon, lighters, and syringes.
Dangers Of Black Tar Heroin Use
Heroin use is repeatedly connected to tuberculosis, mental disorders, sexual dysfunction, and even organ damage.
Depending on the method of delivery, HIV, Hepatitis B, and heart infections are other common risks. With that said, the most dangerous side effect is still heroin overdose.
In 2019 alone, heroin was involved in more than 14,000 fatal overdoses in the United States. Roughly 20% of all overdose cases involve heroin. While any form of heroin is inherently dangerous, black tar heroin may be even more so.
Black tar heroin is the least pure form of heroin, but it is just as potent. Unfortunately, there is a misconception that black tar heroin is less potent.
This opens the door for heroin users to overdose on black tar heroin if they’re used to using heroin in powder form.
Treatment Options For Heroin Addiction
The good news is that there is help available. Bedrock Recovery Center uses evidence-based treatment programs to help you begin the process of recovery.
Our multi-step program will help you get started with medication-assisted heroin detox support. You will be given 24-hour supervision with staff offering necessary medications.
Once you’re through detox, our treatment facility offers comprehensive outpatient and inpatient services.
Between receiving direct medical advice and behavioral health therapy, our treatment center can give you the tools you need to move forward.
Find Addiction Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center
If you or someone you love requires addiction treatment for substance abuse, contact Bedrock Recovery Center today.
Our inpatient treatment center offers a myriad of individualized treatment options for heroin drug use, including medication-assisted treatment, detox, and residential programs.
Remember, heroin addiction moves quickly, so don’t hesitate to get the help you need.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Heroin Overdose Data https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/deaths/heroin/index.html
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Heroin DrugFacts https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Heroin Research Report https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/what-are-medical-complications-chronic-heroin-use
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — What Is Heroin? https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/heroin#topic-1
- National Library of Medicine — Foil Smoking/Heroin Inhalation https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31166873/
- U.S. Department of Justice — Chasing the Black Dragon https://www.ojp.gov/ncjrs/virtual-library/abstracts/chasing-black-dragon