Xylazine or "Tranq Dope" is Increasingly Mixed into Counterfeit Drugs in the US.
Xylazine, is a non-opioid veterinary tranquilizer not approved for human use, has been linked to an increasing number of overdose deaths nationwide in the evolving drug addiction and overdose crisis. It also damages the tissues around where it is injected by intravenous opioid users. Xylazine is also known as 'tranq,' 'tranq dope,' and 'zombie drug.
The New York Times article, Xylazine Brings Fresh Horror to U.S. Drug Zones, recounts the devastating physical effects that using fentanyl laced with xylazine. The xylazine causes wounds that erupt with a scaly dead tissue called eschar; untreated, they can lead to amputation.
Studies show people exposed to xylazine often knowingly or unknowingly used it in combination with other drugs, particularly illicit fentanyl. Users report that fentanyl with xylazine lengthens its euphoric effects. Because xylazine is a sedative and not an opioid, it resists standard opioid overdose reversal treatments.
While the full national scope of overdose deaths involving xylazine is unknown, research shows overdose deaths linked to xylazine have spread westward across the United States, with the largest impact in the Northeast. From 2015 to 2020, the percentage of all drug overdose deaths involving xylazine increased from 2% to 26% in Pennsylvania. Xylazine was involved in 19% of all drug overdose deaths in Maryland in 2021 and 10% in Connecticut in 2020.
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CategoriesAddiction News fentanyl xylazine