Xylazine, also known as “tranq”, “tranq dope”, or the “zombie drug”, has seen increased usage. And most major U.S. cities are experiencing a health crisis.
San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles have been especially hard-hit.
According to a study published in June 2022 in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology xylazine has been detected in drug supplies across 36 states and the District of Columbia. And in the months since the publication, the crisis continues to grow.
The drug is a mixture of fentanyl, a potent opioid, and xylazine, an animal tranquilizer. Xylazine is harmful to human health, and its use in street drugs has led to gruesome wounds and limb amputations. It literally eats the flesh of addicts.
Public health officials are sounding the alarm about the spread of “Tranq” and its impact on communities.
Overuse of the drug can lead to rotting skin ulcerations and ultimately limb amputations if untreated, hence its horrifying nickname “zombie drug”.
Xylazine has been used for years to tranquilize large animals, but it is now showing up within the drug community. Overdose reversal drugs are ineffective against xylazine and that leads to more overdose deaths.