What is Black Tar Heroin?
There is an opioid epidemic sweeping the nation. Stories of heroin abuse, addiction and overdoses are in the headlines every day. As evidenced in all those headlines—heroin is a killer.
If you or someone you love has developed a heroin addiction, seek help immediately. Speak confidentially with a counselor right now at (888) 837-6577.
Heroin comes in many forms, colors, textures and cuts, and the most popular type of heroin can vary by region. This post deals with black tar heroin.
Black tar heroin is a dark-colored form of heroin that ranges from a gooey consistency to a hard, rock-like form. Produced in Mexico, black tar heroin is the most common type of heroin available west of the Mississippi River. But recently it’s been turning up more frequently in the Midwest and even on the East Coast.
Sometimes called chiva, Mexican tar or simply black, black tar heroin is less refined than powder forms of heroin. The dark color, which can range from a deep red color to dark brown to black, comes from contaminants in the refinement process. This form tends to have a strong vinegar smell. It is generally less expensive than other forms of heroin.
Different Look. Same Danger. Heroin is a Killer.
Black tar heroin is a dangerous variant of heroin. It looks different, acts different, and is produced and consumed differently than typical heroin, but it produces many of the same results. It is, of course, extremely dangerous, addictive, and deadly.
Typically, when you think of heroin use you think of a spoon, an open flame, a needle and ligature. The black tar variety is most often smoked (although it can be injected) which, in itself changes a great deal about how it affects the body and the brain. Make no mistake about it: black tar heroin ruins lives and destroys relationships and careers.
Signs and Symptoms of Black Tar Heroin Use
Signs and symptoms of black tar heroin use will vary slightly, depending on the person, how long and how much they’ve abused, and what drugs and alcohol they are combining with their drug use.
Signs associated with heroin use will include:
- An inability to stop using black tar heroin even if they try.
- Always needing to know that they have access to heroin as they are constantly preparing for the next hit.
- Stealing and doing whatever it takes to get black tar heroin.
- Spending money on black tar heroin even when they have no other money.
- After smoking black tar heroin, engaging in risky activities.
- Using black tar heroin as a means of managing emotional problems in their life.
- Lying to cover up heroin abuse.
- Heroin and paraphernalia stashed around the house.
- Mounting legal, financial, and relationship problems.
- Social withdrawal.
Symptoms associated with heroin use will include:
- Depression and anxiety.
- Behaviors that are impulsive.
- Withdrawal symptoms if they don’t have access to black tar heroin.
- Other mental illnesses will worsen when taking heroin, creating complex co-occurring disorders.
- Emotional wellbeing declines.
Significant Health Risks of Black Tar Heroin
Smoking black tar heroin wreaks havoc on the lungs. Injecting black tar heroin comes with the risk of infections, some of which can be fatal:
- Venous Sclerosis: The impurity of black tar heroin can cause your veins to harden and narrow.
- Flesh-Eating Disease: Deep tissue infection can cause you death or emergency limb amputations.
- Wound Botulism: One of the telltale signs of black heroin use are open wounds. The risk is higher for an addict because black tar heroin can be contaminated with the bacteria that causes wound botulism.
- Tissue Necrosis (Tissue Death): The risk of injecting heroin can cause tissue death in the injection areas.
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It’s important to recognize, abuse and addiction don’t happen in a vacuum. The path to recovery and wholeness involves getting to the root the problem. To get at underlying hurt and bring lasting healing takes a holistic—spirit, mind and body—approach to addiction diagnosis, management and treatment.
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