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Black Tar Heroin

Black Tar HeroinBlack tar heroin is mainly produced in Mexico. Black tar heroin may be sticky like roofing tar or hard like coal. The color may vary from dark brown to black. The color and consistency of black tar heroin result from the crude processing methods used to illicitly manufacture heroin in Mexico. Black tar heroin is often sold on the street in its tar-like state at purity ranging from 20 to 80 percent. Commonly, black tar heroin is sold in small foil or cellophane packets or in small toy balloons. To develop customers quickly, dealers may specifically target methadone clinics. These clinics are where heroin addicts receive the drug methadone, which blocks their need for heroin. These individuals become easy prey for the dealer and frequently become regular clients. The potency of street heroin is rarely known and overdose often results.

Heroin ParaphernaliaBlack tar heroin is most frequently dissolved, diluted, and then injected. Black tar heroin addicts place a small amount of black tar heroin in a spoon. The spoon they use is bent so that it sits level without spilling when placed on a table. Then they add a small amount of water and it is heated over a flame. Once the black tar heroin has melted, it is drawn up into a syringe and injected. This method of administration poses special problems because of the transmission of HIV and other diseases that can occur from sharing needles or other injection equipment. Paraphernalia for injecting black tar heroin includes hypodermic needles, small cotton balls (used to strain the drug), water, and spoons or bottle caps used for "cooking" or liquefying the heroin. The high from black tar usually lasts from four to six hours.

Southern California, primarily Los Angeles, is a major transportation and distribution hub for Mexican black tar heroin and brown powdered heroin. The black tar is destined for drug markets in California and throughout the United States. Nearly all of the heroin produced in Mexico is destined for U.S. distribution. Mexico-based heroin continues to dominate the market in the western half of the United States. Evidence suggests that trafficking organizations from Mexico are attempting to produce higher purity heroin. Mexican heroin distribution networks in the United States are managed almost entirely by criminal organizations operating from Mexico and by Mexican-American criminal gangs that are in charge of the street-level distribution of heroin. In the past, couriers typically smuggled only small quantities of heroin across the U.S.-Mexico border. Now, however, heroin is being smuggled in larger amounts as indicated by the seizure of larger shipments.

Did You Know? ...
Interesting Facts and Statistics:

Approximately 2 million Americans surveyed in 2008 that were over the age of 12 reported using inhalants within the past year.

There was a significant decrease in current use of crack among persons aged 18 to 22 who were not full time college students, from 0.6 percent in 2005 to 0.2 percent in 2006. The rate was unchanged among full time college students (0.1 percent in both 2005 and 2006).

Among teens aged 12 to 17, the rate of substance dependence or abuse decreased between 2004 and 2005 from 8.8 to 8.0 percent. This decline was driven by a decrease in the rate of illegal drug dependence or abuse among teens aged 12 to 17 (5.3 to 4.7 percent). The rates of alcohol dependence or abuse were 6.0 percent in 2004 and 5.5 percent in 2005, but this was not a statistically significant change.

In San Francisco, local law enforcement has indicated that individuals in the city prefer to inject methamphetamine for a more intense "rush".

In 2008, 31.7 percent of teens aged 12 to 17 reported that they had attended religious services 25 or more times in the past year, which was similar to the rates in 2007 (31.4 percent) and 2002 (33.0 percent). Also, 75.0 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that religious beliefs are a very important part of their lives, which was similar to the 76.1 percent reported in 2007, but was lower than the 78.2 percent reported in 2002. In addition, 33.8 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that it is important for their friends to share their religious beliefs, which was lower than the rates in 2007 (35.1 percent) and 2002 (35.8 percent).

When heroin is sniffed or smoked, the peak effects of the drug are usually felt within 10 to 15 minutes.

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