(RightWing.org) – A Democrat senator is warning that a lethal new drug epidemic is sweeping the streets of New York. Xylazine — known by the street names “zombie” and tranq” — is an animal sedative. In humans, especially when combined with fentanyl, it can have gruesome and even deadly consequences.
— New York Post (@nypost) March 26, 2023
On March 26, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told a press conference that dozens of deaths in his state have been linked to xylazine, which is used to sedate animals and make cats vomit. The drug causes long-lasting euphoria in humans, and it’s also being used as a cutting agent for heroin or, increasingly, the synthetic opioid fentanyl. When the drugs are combined, the xylazine extends the effects of the fentanyl, giving users a longer-lasting buzz — but it also makes the already dangerous opioid much more harmful.
If drug users inject xylazine it can have terrifying consequences. It often causes necrosis around the injection site, leaving spreading areas of dead, rotting flesh; sometimes, limbs need to be amputated to save the victim’s life. It can also cause “respiratory depression,” which suppresses the urge to breathe — with obvious, lethal consequences. Schumer said the drug is “a nightmare” and called for more funding to fight the traffic.
Although Schumer is focused on his own state, this is a national problem. Last week the DEA seized fentanyl cut with xylazine in 48 states; last year, 23% of fentanyl powder seized by the agency, and 7% of fentanyl pills, also contained xylazine. Either drug is bad enough on its own, but together they have a deadly synergy that’s fueling the rise in opioid-linked deaths.
Overdose deaths involving xylazine are rising rapidly. In 2015 it was linked to just 2% of fatal overdoses in Pennsylvania. By 2020, that number had soared to 26%. In Maryland, it’s 19%, and in Connecticut 10%. Now Schumer wants $537 million to fund a crackdown on the xylazine trade.
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