The opioid xylazine threatens life.. and the fight against drugs warns against it

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — The US Drug Enforcement Administration issued a warning Monday about the widespread threat of fentanyl mixed with xylazine, a veterinary sedative also known as “tranq” or “tranq dope.”

“Xylazine is more deadly than the deadliest drug our country has ever seen, fentanyl,” Ann Milgram, director of the Drug Enforcement Administration, said in the alert.

It continued, “The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has seized mixtures of xylazine and fentanyl in 48 of the 50 states. The DEA lab system indicates that during 2022, it contained approximately 23% of the fentanyl powder and 7% of the fentanyl pills seized by the DEA.” on xylazine.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Control (CDC), more than 100,000 Americans died from drug poisoning between August 2021 and August 2022, with 66% of deaths due to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

Xylazine is not approved for human use, as it has strong sedative effects like an opioid, but it is not the only one. It does not respond to an opioid overdose, such as naloxone, also known as Narcan.

Joseph Friedman, a researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that fentanyl is a fast-acting opioid, and in the opinion of consumers, adding xylazine to it may prolong the duration of the feeling of high.

And the Drug Enforcement Administration noted that, when combined, fentanyl and xylazine can set the stage for even more deadly drug overdoses.

In addition, people who inject a combination of drugs that contain xylazine may develop severe necrotic skin wounds that can cause tissue death and amputation.

Experts recommend giving naloxone to people who may have overdosed on an anesthetic, and making sure the person has been exposed to xylazine in case they don’t respond to naloxone.

Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, pointed out that xylazine is present in the fifty states of America, but it is most concentrated in Philadelphia.

He noted that the White House views xylazine as a potential “emerging threat”, which may prompt a federal plan to address it. Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration announced it was taking action to stop illegal imports of xylazine.

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