Ask a Junky: Black Tar Heroin Adulterants

What is the most common cut for tar, which is the only form of the drug we can get in the tri-state area? I wouldn’t think that Italian baby laxative would work too well with the tar. I suspect what we are getting out here is largely morphine and codeine with very small amounts if any heroin anyway. I quite often isolate the taste of coffee on my tongue.

You are right, coffee is frequently an adulterant in black tar heroin. If you look at studies done on the purity of street heroin over the last three decades have consistently shown caffeine and sugars (including sucrose and lactose) to be the predominate adulterants in all types of heroin, and especially black tar. Cuts can vary greatly from region to region, but I know that here in the Southern California area, the use of sugary, caffeinated beverages like Coca-Cola and ice tea have been extremely prevalent. In fact if you cook down one of these beverage with maybe a little sugar and some vinegar, you get a substances that is almost indistinguishable to some forms of black tar, in look, feel, taste and smell, making it extremely easy to cut the actual product down by as much as 80% without anyone being the wiser – until of course you want to get high, then you’’ll be in for a disappointment. In addition, it burns identical to black tar. So smokers who depend on “”the burn”” as an initial purity test will be in for a surprise. Of course, thankfully by sticking to a reliable dealer who you trust you bypass the risk of getting product that is significantly cut, But if you buy on the streets, it’s definitely something to be wary of.

Other more harmful, but thankful less common adulterants have been Acetaminophen, Paracetamol, Cocaine, Procaine and Lidocaine.

Some less dangerous cuts that have been found are flour, chalk, talcum powder, starch and powdered milk.

But luckily we are not at the mercy of the unscrupulous dealers. Those of us who don’t want to inject our veins with anything but the purest heroin and have the time, patience and a little bit of chemistry wherewithal have the option to purify our black tar heroin. There are few different methods floating around on the web that will do the trick. Here is a reliable method that I’m copying straight from the Heroin Helper website. It does require some specialized equipment, but if you’ve had any experience at all with extractions using a separatory funnel, this won’t be hard (like say, if you make your own DMT.) If you haven’t, it would be best to seek a mentor who can advise you along the way.

Purifying Heroin in 6 Steps

  1. Dissolve the street heroin in water.
  2. Use the easily available Hydrion pH papers to monitor the pH during this procedure. Add Sodium Hydroxide in solution dropwise while checking the pH. Use a narrow glass or plastic rod to touch a minimum of the drug solution to the paper to avoid loss. Stop when the pH reaches about 9.
  3. Extract with chloroform. Chloroform is far superior to diethyl ether in that it is non-flammable and does not present storage problems, where explosive peroxides can be formed. Note: Chloroform is an ideal solvent for heroin, codeine, and most other opiates, with the major exception of morphine which requires a mixed solvent.
  4. Separate the chloroform layer and wash with a minimum quantity of cold water: 1-2 ml works well. Evaporate the chloroform taking care not to burn the residue on the bottom of the beaker. Note: Chloroform is a known carcinogen, so plenty of ventilation (and a respirator) would be advisable. The chloroform is so volatile that this step is actually quite easy to perform.
    Add a dilute solution of HCl dropwise while stirring with a glass rod. Monitor the pH closely. As the acid is being added, the diacetyl morphine base is being neutralized and converted into the water-soluble hydrochloride salt form.
  5. When all the solid material has just dissolved, stop adding the HCl. I found that this takes place around pH 5-6. Note: If one tries to bring the pH all of the way up to 7, the free base alkaloid precipitates back out requiring addition of more HCl.

The resulting solution will be in an injectable form; it will now be completely clear with no colored impurities or particulate matter. 

Here is another method posted on Erowid that has received positive feedback and re-posting, although I have not personally tried it.

This is as complete and as accurate as I can remember, it has been something like 9 years since I have used heroin. The process I used for purification was straight forward. Diacetylmorphine can exist in two forms, an insoluble base, or a soluble salt. Often it contained a plethora of other agents like pieces of broken glass, pieces of foil, dirt, wood, metal, mannitol, lactose, maltose, sand, you get the idea. The first stage of the process I used was to make sure the diacetylmorphine I received was totally converted to a soluble hydrochloride salt. The heroin I usually received was a brown powdered heroin, sometimes off white, very little vinegar smell. Today all you can find is a black crud that reeks with a vinegar (acetic) odor. The way I made sure it was a soluble salt was to drop enough 28% hydrochloric acid to make it wet. This insured that I would not waste any of the available drug, but would remove most if not all of the cut. I think that it would be better for me to detail it in a procedural manner. FYI, hydrochloric acid can be purchased in gallon jugs at hardware stores under the name Muriatic acid, 28%.

First weigh out one gram of heroin from the stock you received from your supplier. Place this gram into a 13 x 100mm test tube. Add a few drops of 28% hydrochloric acid until it is evenly damp. Allow to react for a minute or two. Next add 5 ml distilled water, place your thumb over the end and carefully shake to dissolve all that will dissolve into the water. Allow the insolubles to settle. Using a pipette, remove and transfer as much of the liquid to a fresh test tube leaving the solids behind. Dispose of the undissolved remains in the first test tube. Slowly add via pipette, one drop at at time, ammonium hydroxide (water clear household ammonia) until the white precipitate ceases production. Add several more drops at this point just to be sure. Shake gently to be sure that all the solution is evenly ammoniated. The solution should look milky. Now add 100 ml ethyl ether (some kinds of diesel starting fluids, read the label) to a 150 ml beaker. Dump the milky liquid into the ether and stir briskly and allow the water to settle and collect on the bottom. The water will turn clear. Using a glass pipette, remove this water from the bottom of the beaker and dispose of.

Now mix up a solution of 5ml 28% hydrochloric acid and 5ml distilled water and add this to the ether in the beaker. Stir briskly keeping as much acid/water suspended as possible for several minutes. Allow the water/acid to collect on the bottom of the beaker. Using a glass pipette, remove this water layer from the bottom of the ether and transfer to a glass petri dish. Transfer the ether back to its storage bottle for reuse. It will still contain small amounts of heroin base, so don’t throw it out. Recycle! Slowly add small portions of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to the water/acid solution in the petri until you don’t notice any more bubbles being formed. Place the glass on a warm surface, and allow to evaporate. The residue will be diacetylmorphine hydrochloride and salt. Table salt is a by-product of the reaction and will not hurt you at all when injected. Scrape up the residue and weigh it. Yield from one gram of smack (yea, we called it that) would be anything from 100 to 300 mg, rarely more. Place 100 mg of this powder in a test tube, add 10 cc sterile isotonic water for injection (available OTC at drug stores) and heat to boiling. Transfer this liquid while still hot using a syringe (available OTC at some drug stores) to a 10 ml rubber stoppered empty sterile ampoule (available OTC at drug stores).

To use this drug which is 10 mg/ml, extract with a sterile syringe as much drug as you wish to use. 10 mg would send me flying believe it or not. 2.5 mg (1/4 cc) was usually enough to keep me “happy” and was my normal dose. 20 mg was the most I could take safely in my opinion, and was a waste of drug and money. Normally, for most 150-170 lb males, 2.5 mg is more than enough in my opinion. Using heroin in this manner avoids the problems associated with “street use” and will keep your body healthy and safe, reducing the risk of disease and over-dosage.

If you are concerned about the purity of your heroin, and have the resources to carryout these procedures, it would definitely be worth your while to master the art of purifying heroin. No doubt it would be healthier for your all around. Unfortunately, I’m well aware that in practicality, expecting the vast majority of heroin users to be able to go through this process each time they cop is ridiculous. It’s a shame that we can’t trust our supply to come from ethical, concerned sources who care about the health and well being of their clientele. But the farther up the chain of command you go in heroin manufacturing, the more corrupt and less concerned they become. The manufactures care little-to-none about the health of their clientele. They’ll cut a large batch of product with harmful adulterant just to save a few buck at the risk of killing off some of their loyal customers. It’s sickening that we support these sick corrupt drug lords, but that’s the cost of drug prohibition. And with heroin so cost prohibitive to manufacture in the United States, we forced to support overseas drug lords who care even less about the Americans they kill they domestic drug manufactures would. There will always be another junked up brain-dead American to take the place of the ones that die. This is sad side effect of the drug prohibition. Pharmaceutical grade heroin is more myth than legend these days. And while there are small pockets of drug treatment research being carried out around the globe, it’s unlikely to become anything we see on a grand scale during our lifetime. So we’re forced to buy product at varying degrees of impurity and simply trust, or at least hope, that the batch we isn’t going to kill us this time. Luckily, at least on a local level, free-market competition is still a very real business concept for smart drug dealers. So at least for now, we can hope that the demand for high quality product – and the willingness to pay for that quality – will help keep heroin at least reasonably pure. On a high note, heroin purity across the country is at an all time high, smoking the heroin from previous decades. But if you really want to know what’s in your heroin and how pure it is, you can always send it into Dr. X (From Inside the Deep Web Drug Lab) to have it chemically evaluated, so you can have peace of mind when slamming your drugs 🙂

Have another method of purifying your heroin? Please write in and let me know! I’ll definitely post it!

Ps. I’ve bought this heroin purity test multiple times. I always have at least one test on hand for when I want to test a particularly strong or weak seeming batch. It’s not definitely and the results are kinda grey much of the time, but at least it gives you somewhat of an idea. And at least it’s fun to perform and makes you feel like you’re doing your due-diligence 🙂


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