Heroin comes in two main forms: a brown or white powder, or a sticky, black substance known as black tar. The powdered form is often referred to as “pure” heroin. 

Common street names for black tar heroin include:

  • Big H
  • Mexican Tar
  • Horse
  • Chiva
  • Smack

Black tar heroin is usually injected directly into the bloodstream by users. The sticky substance must first be melted down into a liquid by heating it.

The effects of black tar heroin can be broken down into short term and long term:

Short Term Effects of Black Tar Heroin

When heroin enters the bloodstream and makes its way to the brain, users often report feeling an immediate sensation of pleasure. The rush is commonly coupled with:

  • Warm flushed skin
  • Heaviness in arms and legs
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Severe itching

In mere hours after these first effects, the following effects may be experienced:

  • Drowsiness
  • Unclear thinking
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Slowed breathing

Heroin produces its mental effects by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, just like other opioid drugs. Because it works similarly to other opioids, addicts may swap it out for prescription painkillers.

Long Term Effects of Black Tar Heroin

Over time, heroin abuse takes a huge toll on the body. The following physical and mental effects are commonly seen in long-term black tar heroin abusers:

  • Insomnia
  • Lung complications
  • Mental disorders 
  • Sexual dysfunction in men
  • Constipation
  • Irregular menstrual cycles in women

In addition to these devastating side effects, users of black tar heroin who regularly inject the drug will risk these problems:

  • Scarred and/or collapsed veins
  • Blood and heart Infections 
  • Clogged blood vessels
  • Boils

Black tar heroin use results in major effects on the body and mind. Also, physical dependence on the drug can lead to life threatening withdrawal symptoms, along with an increased chance of overdose. You should never attempt to detox from heroin alone. Doing so can lead to a relapse and numerous other complications. 

At Asana Recovery, we understand how difficult recovering from these addictions through our daily work to help those struggling most from this disease. While some may believe they can make it alone, rehabilitation programs are essential in the fight to break dependency. The road ahead is not a smooth or easy one, but you can traverse it if done so with the support of the right team. Counseling and aftercare processes can assist you by addressing the psychological facets that led you to addition and help you build a structure from which to better cope with life without succumbing to addiction.

The supervised detoxification and residential treatment programs at Asana Recovery are offered in a supportive, relaxing, and inspiring environment. We’re deeply committed to ensuring your long-term recovery, and guiding you on your path to a healthier and happier future. There is no better time than now, and we’re always available to speak with you. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment program today.


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