Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of the Street

This film follows five young heroin drug users on the streets of San Francisco, California. In particular, it focuses on the life they lead, their hopes, dreams, the broken homes they grew up in and the escape they seek to attain through heroin.

Using two years on exploring these lives, filmmaker Steven Okazaki gets closer than ever to the realities of drug abuse and the catastrophic ramifications it induces.

Filming the black tar heroin users, we’ll get to see their daily struggles in their eternal hunt for the next dose of heroin and how breaking the bubble of a broken drug life can be an almost impossible task.

The struggles they face pertain the grim sides of street life. Some of them resort to selling their bodies through prostitution to purchase black tar heroin and others to crime.

Street life is tough and prostitution is a dangerous line of work. By working on the frontlines as a prostitute, they are prone to catch HIV, get raped or have extensive violence committed against them.

The answer to forgetting these grim realities is sought through more black tar heroin. Once its consumed and cleared the hunt for the next dose begins.

But this life brings pain. A pain so all consuming a higher dosages is needed to forget and wipe the plate clean.

The end result is a perpetual state of being locked in the same kind of lifestyle or a drug overdose resulting in, at times, death.

Where are they now?

Since the documentary was filmed over 20 years ago many things have changed.

Alice McMunn has been sober since 2001, today she is a model, a professional exotic dancer and is very active on twitter.

Tracey Helton became sober and has been working as a full-time drug counselor since 2004. Today she is a certified addiction specialist and the mother of three children. Tracy has talked several times publicly about her former addiction and how her life has changed. Besides working as an addiction specialist Tracy has her own blog, written a book on drug abuse, had several interviews and is active on reddit.

Jake did his best to stop his drug abuse and went on methadone to curb his heroin intake. Sadly, he relapsed on heroin in 2002 and was found dead of an drug overdose.

Jessica was last heard from in a 2004 interview. Its mentioned here she continued working as a prostitute despite having contracted HIV. Her fate in 2020 is currently unknown.

Oreo’s whereabouts are unknown. Rumours fluctuate between him being dead long time ago and him being very much alive today.

Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of the Street
  • Info
  • Release date2000
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Steven Okazaki
  • Production companyParallon Films Production