California Health Officials Warn of 'Disastrous' New Street Drug

California health officials sound alarm on ‘disastrous’ new street drug

/ 10:01 AM May 30, 2023

Amidst the ever-evolving drug problem, California health officials warn about a dangerous new threat. Xylazine, a strong animal tranquilizer, is being mixed with deadly fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, resulting in a disturbing number of overdoses and fatalities.

Created initially as a sedative for large animals, Xylazine has been out in the streets. The drug can slow the body’s functions, leading to slower heart rate and shallow breathing.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not approve the drug for humans due to the high risk for abuse and detrimental health impacts like necrotic tissue and hyperglycemia, which can result in amputations.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50-100 times stronger than morphine. While it has legal medical uses for pain management, its illegal use has increased in the past years.

A Fentanyl overdose can lead to immediate respiratory breakdown and death.

The Rise of ‘Tranq’

According to San Francisco Chronicle, dealers started combining these two strong drugs together. This mix makes a deadly cocktail called the ’tranq.’

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Users of this drug cocktail are at a high risk of a deadly overdose due to the potent blend of respiratory depression that both drugs cause. An expert in drugs, Phillipe Bourgois, warns that urgent action is needed. He said, “Public health has to get ahead of this tragedy.”

Another horrifying effect of tranq are concrete burns. Users can have these sores due to lying unconscious on hard surfaces for long periods.

Xylazine can also cause skin necrosis. These injuries often lead to serious complications and can result in amputations.

In light of this growing crisis, the Biden administration named xylazine-laced fentanyl as a drug threat in April 2023. It is the first time that label was given.

California health officials want to put Xylazine under the category of uncontrolled substance.

Local Efforts for Drug Watch

The San Francisco AIDS Foundation, homeless and supportive housing agencies, the city’s fire department, methadone clinics, and hospitals will all play their part in data gathering, conducting xylazine tests, and sharing updates.

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TAGS: California, drugs, Trending
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