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Here’s what you need to know about black tar heroin, where it comes from, and why it is known as a dirty, dangerous street drug in America.
- It is an illegal, unregulated drug that’s processed from morphine – the naturally occurring opioid that’s derived from the opium poppy.
It was introduced to US drug users in the 1970s, where it quickly became popular among drug users who were seeking a cheap alternative to prescription opiates and pure heroin.
This drug is in the same class of drugs as regular heroin and controlled prescription opioid painkillers like Oxycontin and Vicodin.
- Mexican Mud
The term “Mexican Mud” is due to the fact that most it is made in drug labs in Mexico and throughout Latin America.
It is usually dark and sticky, similar to roofing tar; it can also be dried, creating a hard, coal-like lump that can be ground down into a brown or black powder.
In most cases, users heat up the sticky, dark substance to liquefy it, and then inject it into a vein using a small-gage syringe.
Just like with ‘regular’ white powder it can also be smoked; some users also report turning the tar-like substance into a power that they use to snort.
While using any type of legal or illegal opiate increases your risk of suffering from serious drug-related side effects, black tar heroin use comes along with some extra dangers.
Because it is usually sticky, when users inject this drug, their veins collapse quickly – this means users have to constantly search for new injection sites.
Some people who use this drug even resort to shooting the drug directly into their muscles or under their skin (sub-q), which increases the chances of developing life-threatening bacterial infections, including flesh-eating disease.
It is also a notoriously ‘dirty’ drug, thanks to the fact that it’s filled with impurities created by crude manufacturing methods.
Unlike other opiates, the potency of black tar heroin is completely inconsistent because it’s made using crude, unregulated processing methods. The potency can vary wildly from one dose to the next – this means users never really know how much they can ‘safely’ use to get high without overdosing.
Some reports indicate that the purity of this drug sold through street dealers ranges in purity from 10 percent all the way up to 80 percent; this lack of consistency in the purity has been linked to a number of overdose deaths across the United States.