The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will restrict the flow of “tranq” into the country after it began flooding America’s illegal drug supply.
Primarily used by veterinarians to sedate horses and cows, xylazine is now mixed with drugs such as fentanyl, cocaine and heroin as a cheap drug by dealers to enhance their effects.
The FDA now allows imported products containing xylazine or its key ingredients to be detained by shipping authorities if they fear it will be used for illegal purposes.
Tranq has been plaguing the homeless population of Philadelphia, San Francisco and Rhode Island in recent months and is starting to pop up elsewhere in the country.
The powerful sedative effects turn users into zombies and cause them to erupt in painful sores as the drug destroys blood vessels, requiring amputation in extreme cases.
There are growing concerns that xylazine will spread across the US. A study published in December involving 60,000 adult drug tests found that xylazine was found in samples from states across the country. Experts say there’s concern it’s spreading in the Midwest
“The FDA remains concerned about the increasing prevalence of xylazine mixed with illicit drugs, and this action is part of the agency’s broader efforts to address this issue,” said Dr. Robert Califf, FDA commissioner, in a press release.
Under new rules, transit officials are allowed to detain xylazine shipments to America, even without investigation.
They are also allowed to hold products that contain xylazine as an ingredient and unfinished products that also use it.
Officials will then determine whether they believe the shipment should be safely allowed into the country.
The drug, sold under the brand names Rompun and Anased, works by relaxing a person’s muscles and releasing hormones in the brain that help relieve pain.
The drug is approved for use in animals, but the Department of Justice warns that use in humans is illegal.
In the drug supply, it is often cut with fentanyl and other drugs and reduces the number of times an addict needs an injection.
The drug is not an opioid, but is often mixed with opioids, such as fentanyl, when used to potentiate it.
Because of this, people who take it are more difficult to treat with naloxone, the drug that reverses an opioid overdose.
In many cases, it leaves users ‘knocked out’ for hours on street corners and at bus stops.
When these people come to, they find that the heroin high has worn off and they go looking for their next hit.
“We recognize the public health impact of xylazine affecting these illicit drugs and continue to ensure that the legitimate product is restricted to veterinary use,” said Dr. Tracey Forfa, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement.
The drug also menacingly causes open wounds on the body – often away from the injection site.
Nurses have described them STAT News as if something is “eating away your flesh from the inside out.”
Medics are still not sure what causes the lesions in those taking the drug. One theory that is gaining ground is that the drug causes high levels of inflammation in the body, making wounds more difficult to heal.
It can also damage blood vessels and weaken the immune system, making people more susceptible to infections.
Other effects of the drug include blurred vision, disorientation, drowsiness, and being jittery. It can also lead to coma, breathing problems and high blood pressure.
Many patients become disfigured by the drug. In cases where the wound becomes infected and spreads to the bone, doctors may have no choice but to amputate a limb.
Health officials are warning of a terrifying flesh-eating drug increasingly found in heroin, cocaine and other narcotics, leading to a huge number of overdoses across the country. Pictured: A homeless man was seen injecting himself on the streets of Kensington, Philadelphia
The drug prolongs heroin’s highs, but causes users to pass out for hours on end, while injection points swear and lead to horrific wounds that spread across the body. Photo: Homeless on the streets of Kensington, Philadelphia
The drug can also cause the “progressive and extensive” appearance of skin sores full of dead tissue.
Philadelphia is currently at the epicenter of the US xylazine crisis. The drug has found its way into the city’s supply as a cheap and very potent adulterant.
It is also showing up in the drug supply of other East Coast states, including New York, Massachusetts and Maine.
And there are now fears that it may reach the West Coast and Midwestern states.
Earlier this month, San Francisco reported four overdose deaths in which low levels of xylazine were found in the patients’ systems.
The city’s health ministry said this was the “first time” they had seen evidence of the drug within city limits.
It has been present in Puerto Rico’s drug supply for years, scientists say.
A study published last December found that the drug had already reached 25 states of the 35 samples it tested.
These include many on the East Coast – New York, Massachusetts and Maine, among others – West Coast – California, Oregon and Washington – and increasingly in the South – Texas, Louisiana, Alabama – and the Midwest.