Dealers Mixing Fentanyl With Animal Sedative

Dealers Reportedly Mixing Fentanyl With Another Dangerous Drug

( – Over the past few years, the synthetic opioid fentanyl has continued to become a huge problem for Americans. In 2022, tens of thousands of people lost their lives due to overdoses. As if fentanyl, up to 100 times more potent than morphine, wasn’t scary enough on its own, now authorities are cautioning that dealers and addicts could mix something with their drugs: xylazine. This emerging threat is not only increasing overdoses, it’s also causing some serious side effects.

What is Xylazine?

Xylazine is a tranquilizer veterinarians use to subdue larger animals. The FDA has not approved the drug’s use in humans. Yet, it still seemed to find its way into fentanyl. In fact, obtaining the drug is surprisingly easy, as NBC News found out when it was able to order a supply online from overseas in mere minutes.

Xylazine doesn’t qualify as an opioid, so Narcan doesn’t work on those who overdose on the drug, even when it’s mixed with fentanyl. In West Virginia, where there’s a significant opioid crisis, one doctor said that the methods he usually employs to help patients with withdrawal “couldn’t touch” the effects of xylazine, NBC News reported.

DEA Cautions Americans

On September 22, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a public service announcement cautioning Americans about the presence of adulterated fentanyl containing xylazine. The agencies deemed “fentanyl adulterated or associated with xylazine as an emerging threat” to the country and said the addition of the tranquilizer “increases the risk of suffering a fatal drug poisoning.”

However, xylazine doesn’t just pose a risk of overdose for people who consume it — knowingly or unknowingly. It has also caused severe ulcers and flesh wounds that can eventually lead to amputations.

Unscrupulous dealers willing to break laws have increased the problem. While many will ask for a prescription before sending the drug, others are willing to try circumventing customs, as NBC News found out when it engaged five different dealers in India who not only agreed to send xylazine but promised they would try again if the product didn’t make it through customs. One also offered an alternative option.

The drug initially appeared in Puerto Rico and came to the continental US from there. Authorities saw it first in Pennsylvania and Connecticut before it spread to Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh, among others. Although law enforcement has tracked xylazine for a few years now, the substance only recently emerged as a severe threat to Americans’ well-being.

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