Xylazine's Growing Threat and its Combination with Illicit Drugs
Xylazine, also known as “Tranq” or “Tranq Dope” is a drug used in veterinary medicine that has become an emerging threat in the United States illicit drug supply and is linked to overdose deaths.
What is Xylazine?
Xylazine is a central nervous system depressant medication that veterinarians use for sedation, muscle relaxation, and minor surgical procedures. It is derived from clonidine, an antihypertensive medication. While it is typically administered to animals, there have been some reports of humans using Xylazine recreationally.
What are the effects of Xylazine use in humans?
The primary effects of Xylazine include:
Dangerously low blood pressure
Slowed heart rate
Wounds, abscesses and skin ulcers
Severe withdrawal symptoms
How are people exposed to Xylazine?
Human use of Xylazine is typically obtained through theft or illegal purchase from veterinary clinics. It can also be manufactured by individuals with access to chemical precursors.
What does Xylazine do to human skin?
When injected into human skin, Xylazine can cause severe irritation, swelling and even ulceration. It is also known to cause rashes and other skin reactions when handled or touched.
What are the long-term risks associated with Xylazine use?
Long-term use of Xylazine may cause individuals to become increasingly dependent on the drug. In addition, because Xylazine eats away at flesh it can also lead to limb amputation.
Signs of Xylazine overdose?
An overdose of Xylazine can be dangerous and even fatal. Xylazine can be picked up in a quantitative spectroscopy toxicology screen, such as a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry test. If you or someone you know is showing signs of a Xylazine overdose, seek medical attention immediately.
Should Naloxone be administered in the event of a Xylazine overdose?
While Naloxone is effective in reversing opioid overdoses, it does not work on sedatives and therefore cannot reverse the effects of Xylazine overdoses.
Xylazine combinations with other drugs
Xylazine has become increasingly popular as a recreational drug due to its combination with street drugs and illicit drugs, such as fentanyl, stimulants, synthetic opioids, and benzodiazepines. This is an extremely dangerous practice, as the effects of Xylazine can be greatly intensified in these combinations.
What steps can be taken to reduce the risk of Xylazine use?
In order to reduce the risk of Xylazine use, it is important to keep veterinary tranquilizers and supplies locked away and under watch. Additionally, medical professionals should be aware of the potential for Xylazine misuse and take appropriate steps to prevent it. Finally, it’s important that individuals seek help from a healthcare professional as soon as possible.
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