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The Dangers of Xylazine

In veterinary medicine, Xylazine is an animal sedative medication for pain relief and muscle-relaxing properties. Although it was approved for animals by the FDA in 1972, it is not for human use.

The dangers of Xylazine remain in how people use the drug. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has reported rising overdose deaths from Xylazine-related overdoses. 

Tranq Dope (Xylazine) Stats

Researchers are only beginning to understand the forensic extent to which Xylazine is involved with drug overdoses. There are no solid statistics concerning the number of people who are ingesting this drug alone or combined with other substances.

The DEA is working with The National Institute on Drug Abuse to compile pertinent information on Xylazine. The DEA reports a compilation of information stating that from 2015 to 2020, the drug was present in over 3,800 reports, and in 2020 there were 1,492.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports overdose deaths in Pennsylvania and Connecticut increased dramatically. In Connecticut, from 2019 to July 2020, Xylazine-associated death rates were highest among white males aged 25-34.

Significant drug seizures in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Puerto Rico, and California involved Xylazine. The dangers of Xylazine may have the same overwhelming effects as fentanyl. The result of a 2022 study was that illicitly-produced fentanyl was present in 98.4% of overdose deaths, where Xylazine was present.

Other alarming statistics include:

  • Overdose deaths involving cocaine found 45.4% have Xylazine
  • Overdose deaths involving benzos found 28.4% have Xylazine
  • Overdose deaths involving heroin found 23.3% have Xylazine
  • Overdose deaths involving alcohol found 19.7% have Xylazine

What Is Xylazine?

Xylazine is used for veterinary medicine for animals. It is for animal tranquilizers, sedatives, and pain relief for animals only. Vets rely on Xylazine as an essential component of diagnostic and surgical procedures in cats, dogs, horses, and cattle. 

Structurally, it is comparable to the class of drugs labeled phenothiazines. Like clonidine, levamisole, and tizanidine, it acts as an agonist with the central alpha-2 adrenergic receptors in the brain, decreasing dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.

Vets utilize Xylazine alone or inject it with other anesthetic medications for animal surgery. A rapid onset can last up to 4 hours in animals. Trade names for this drug are 

Rompun, Sedazine, and AnaSed. Xylazine can also be taken intravenously and orally. 

Xylazine: An Ongoing Threat

In April 2023, the White House proclaimed Xylazine as an emerging drug threat in the United States. It is not an opioid, and naloxone is impractical in reversing its toxic effects.

The dangers of Xylazine remain its notorious discovery as a component in overdose deaths involving fentanyl, cocaine, heroin, and other drugs. Continually drug seizures by the DEA find Xylazine mixed with all classes of drugs. 

Xylazine and Fentanyl

The dangers of Xylazine combined with fentanyl are primarily displayed with illicit heroin and fentanyl with street use typically injected. It may also be an unknown component of other street drugs.

Additionally, an intentional population of users use Xylazine to extend the euphoric high from fentanyl injections. Those addicted to injectable drugs are at high risk of the substance, including Xylazine. 

Physical Effects Of Tranq Dope

Xylazine identifies with other drugs to include the possibility of tolerance, dependence, addiction, and withdrawal symptoms when use reduces or ends. As the drug reduces in the body, agitation, and anxiety develop, vision changes and migraines could occur.

When these symptoms develop, the user relapses and returns to the substance use disorder. When this happens, overdose is always an imminent danger. 

Signs and symptoms of Xylazine toxicity can include:

  • Bradycardia or slow heart rate
  • Central nervous system depression
  • Sedation, disorientation, and drowsiness
  • Respiratory depression
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Hypothermia (low body temp)
  • Hyperglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Painful and necrotic skin
  • Ulcerations
  • Coma
  • Death

The New York State Department of Health released additional information on the effects of Xylazine on the body and mind. Amnesia, loss of physical sensation and consciousness, and the intensification of the impact of other drugs in the system are all effects of using Xylazine.

The dangers of Xylazine in the system can escalate existing conditions and add to the severity of illnesses. Furthermore, standard drug testing techniques may not detect Xylazine in the system. 

Wounds, Necrosis, and Tranq Dope

An extreme result of Xylazine addiction can be necrotic skin ulcerations. These wounds require a strict regime of wound management, antibiotics, and, in some situations, hospitalization.

Infection could become an issue without medical management of the injury. Depending on the patient’s physical condition, these severe wounds can take months to heal. 

Tranq Dope Withdrawal and Overdose

A frightening reality is that there is no antidote to Xylazine overdose. Naloxone, Narcan, Kloxxado, Zimhi, and generic forms can not reverse it.

When someone presents with an overdose, make sure the airway is not blocked and call 911. Although it is unlikely that Naloxone will reverse overdose, attempt its use anyway. 

Detox and Treatment

Detoxification can produce severe withdrawal symptoms. Medical management and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) are essential to a successful detox. It is vital to find a treatment center that offers professional detox programs. Withdrawal symptoms are manageable with medication. 

Rehab is essential for a successful recovery from a substance use disorder. Residential rehab may be the best option for this addiction, but embracing the transition and leaning on a support system is invaluable. Outpatient programs are just as successful. Another essential component of treatment is developing a solid relapse prevention plan. 

Find Peace of Mind for Xylazine Addiction

Hearing that a loved one is using an animal tranquilizer to produce adverse physical and mental damage is alarming. Tennessee Valley Recovery near Tennessee promotes a successful reputation for excellent detox and rehab programs.

Contact a representative or an admissions counselor and feel the positive atmosphere throughout the phone call. With many options, it won’t be long until the process begins.