Black Tar Heroin Abuse and Addiction North Jersey Recovery Center - A young woman is mixing the black drug, otherwise known as black tar heroin, into a spoon before she heats up the spoon to inject the dangerous substance into her body.

Black Tar Heroin Abuse and Addiction

Last Updated: Dec 30th 2020

Reviewed by Laura Riley

Black Tar Heroin

Heroin, in any of its forms, is a powerful opioid drug.

It is made from morphine, a naturally occurring substance contained in the seeds of opium poppy plants.

But this Schedule I drug has no approved medical uses and an incredibly high potential for addiction.

Any amount of heroin use can prove to be dangerous.

If you are using or addicted to the black drug, our comprehensive addiction programs help you make necessary changes today.

Common Forms of Heroin

Black tar heroin is the second most common form of this particular opioid.

Powdered heroin is the most common. This powder is usually white or brown.

Heroin, in different forms, is typically smoked, injected, snorted, or swallowed.

In scientific settings, the black drug is known as diacetylmorphine.

More commonly, it is known as heroin, dope, black drug, or smack.

How Does Black Tar Heroin Addiction Start?

Heroin users rarely begin using heroin. Most heroin users report trying it for the first time after developing a tolerance to prescription opioids. Prescription painkillers, like Vicodin and Percocet, are two of the most common gateways.

When you abuse opioids, they begin to become less effective. This leads to many opioid users to try something stronger. Around 948,000 American adults reported using heroin between 2015 and 2016.

Often, heroin is less expensive, more potent, and easier to obtain than prescriptions. It produces similar effects at higher and faster levels. For these reasons, black tar heroin and other forms appeal to those with persistent pains and opioid addictions.

However, once you make the switch to black tar heroin, it is challenging to go back. This is true whether you are hoping to switch back to prescription opioids or cease drug use altogether.

Where Does Black Tar Heroin Come From?

Heroin itself comes from the morphine in the seeds of opium poppy plants native to Mexico, Colombia, and Asia. The majority of heroin used or seized in the United States comes from Mexico.

Heroin is one of the most frequently smuggled drugs. As such, seizures from heroin use have continued to increase over the decades. In addition, arrests and prison sentences for crimes related to heroin have increased.

Initiatives have been put in place to counter, monitor, and decrease drug trafficking, but there are still many obstacles to face to get heroin use to decrease as much as possible.

Short-Term Side Effects of Smoking Black Tar Heroin

The short-term side effects of smoking black tar heroin are ones that users hope to experience over the unpleasant long-term side effects. These side effects include feelings of euphoria, pleasurable feelings, stress and anxiety relief, and drowsiness.

These are highly addictive feelings for many drug users. Because they are short-lived, you are forced to quickly and frequently increase your dose to achieve the same effects. As you continue using heroin, reaching the original effects of your “first high” becomes increasingly difficult.

These short-lived effects contribute to the potential for addiction. They also increase the chance of an overdose. Black tar heroin, the black drug, and other forms of heroin alter your brain’s chemistry. They alter the pathways, rewiring the ways our brains and bodies produce, and recognize certain feelings.

After some time, it is harder for your brain to produce these feelings naturally. This dependency is dangerous and has led to a troubling increase in heroin-related overdoses. Between 1999 and 216, overdoses related to heroin increased from 1,960 to 15,469.

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Long-Term Side Effects of Smoking Black Tar Heroin

Many people begin smoking black tar heroin to achieve pleasurable, euphoric, or drowsy feelings without knowing on what dangers and health issues the drug can cause. Heroin rewires your brain and breaks down your mental processes.

With short and long-term use, smoking black tar heroin causes various unpleasant and potentially dangerous side effects. Heaviness in the limbs, cloudy mental states, and unexpected changes from consciousness to semi-consciousness are common side effects of heroin use. Others include intense itchiness, nausea or vomiting, dry mouth, and warm flushes.

As unpleasant as these may be, these are some of the milder side effects. With long-term or high quantities of use of the black drug, some common heroin abuse side effects include:

  • Insomnia
  • Skin abscesses
  • Cramps and constipation
  • Infections in the heart lining or valves
  • Pneumonia
  • Liver disease and kidney disease
  • Mental health impairments

On its own, heroin is a dangerous substance; however, it becomes increasingly dangerous when mixed with other substances. Many heroin users have mixed it with crack cocaine to create a substance called a speedball. This combination increases the risk of suffering permanent mental or physical damage and even an overdose.

Black Tar Heroin and Mental Health

On top of the dangerous physical side effects of black tar heroin use, it also impairs your mental health. Depression and anxiety are two mental health disorders often linked to heroin use. Heroin use can generate a new mental health disorder or worsen an existing one. Dual diagnosis is the term for co-existing mental health disorders and addictions. If you are battling a dual diagnosis, you are not alone. And our specialized dual diagnosis programs can help.

Black Tar Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Black tar heroin withdrawal symptoms are generally intense and severe. This is one factor that makes it so challenging to quit on your own. However, our medically-assisted detoxes were designed for situations like this one. Within a few hours of ceasing heroin use, you may begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Heroin withdrawals are typically more physical and psychological. Some common heroin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sweats
  • Muscle cramps

On average, heroin withdrawal symptoms begin from eight to 24 hours after you stop using heroin. They can last from four to 10 days. But certain approved and monitored medications help ease the pain and discomfort of withdrawal symptoms.

These medications are designed to reduce drug cravings too. Our medical detox is one of the various benefits of seeking addiction care in our luxurious facility with our dedicated and passionate staff.

Drug Addiction Treatment Options

Our drug addiction treatment options range from full-time stays to a few hours spent in our facility per week. Inpatient treatment in our safe, comfortable, and secure facility are ideal for anyone who needs a more structured environment.

We offer a space full of luxury amenities, daily structure, proven treatment methods, and support away from stressful situations, temptations, triggers, and distractions. Focusing on your recovery and learning healthy life skills to maintain your sobriety moving forward is of utmost importance.

During inpatient stays, you can focus full-time on healing your body and mind. Our behavioral therapies, proven techniques, and holistic remedies provide an opportunity for a well-rounded recovery.

For those who do not need 24-hour care or have obligations that require their attention at home, we offer several other programs, combining care and flexibility.

We work with you to identify the addiction treatment program that best suits your addiction, mental health disorders, and additional needs. These alternative programs include outpatient programs, partial care programs, and intensive outpatient programs.

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Paying for Drug Addiction Treatments

Most major health insurance providers provide addiction care coverage. If you have health insurance coverage, your program may be partially or fully covered.

If you are unsure what is covered under your policy, please call our team of experienced admissions specialists. They will perform fast and free insurance verification to determine what your insurance policy covers. If you do not have health insurance, our team of experts will outline alternative payment options.

North Jersey Recovery Center

When you choose North Jersey Recovery Center, you choose high-level, customized, and dedicated addiction care.

You choose a safe, comfortable, and convenient facility away from the noise and distractions of New Jersey, New York City, or even your hometown that is full of familiar triggers and places — reminding you of your drug use.

See the difference a well-rounded and dedicated approach can make.

Call us today.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Laura Riley

Laura-Riley-Cropped-Profile-150x150Laura Riley, MA, LCADC, CCS is an Administrator with North Jersey Recovery Center.