Black tar heroin is a kind of heroin that is sticky like tar or hard like coal. Its dark tint is the product of primitive processing processes that leave behind contaminants. Despite its name, black tar heroin can also be dark orange or dark brown in color.
Black tar heroin is impure diamorphine. Other types of heroin require extra processes of purification following acetylation. With black tar, the product’s production ceases immediately after acetylation. Its unusual consistency nevertheless is owing to acetylation without a reflux equipment. As in homebake heroin in Australia and New Zealand the crude acetylation results in a sticky mess.
Black tar as a kind holds a varying admixture of morphine derivatives—predominantly 6-MAM (6-monoacetylmorphine), which is another outcome of crude acetylation. The lack of appropriate reflux during acetylation fails to remove most of the moisture contained in the acetylating agent, glacial acetic acid.
Black tar heroin is often synthesized in Latin America, and is most commonly discovered in the western and southern areas of the United States, while also being occasionally detected in Western Africa. It has a varied consistency depending on manufacturing procedures, cutting agents, and moisture levels, from tarry goo in the raw form to a homogeneous, light-brown powder when further processed and cut with lactose.
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