wound from using drugs

Tranq: A Dangerous New Drug that Combines Xylazine and Fentanyl

This entry was posted in Opioids and tagged , , on by .

California officials are warning the public of a new drug that’s hitting the streets: tranq. Tranq (xylazine) is a powerful animal sedative approved for veterinary use.

The drug is not intended for humans. It’s a powerful central nervous system depressant that can cause drowsiness, amnesia, slow breathing and slow heart rate. 

But tranq doesn’t just consist of xylazine. It also contains fentanyl, another powerful synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.

The drug is active in California, as well as most other states. What makes this drug even more worrisome is that it doesn’t respond to naloxone, a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. 

Let’s learn more about tranq, how the drug is getting into the United States, and the dangers to be aware of. 

What is Tranq Made From, Exactly? 

Tranq refers to a new drug that combines xylazine and fentanyl. According to this Public Safety Alert, the DEA has seized xylazine and fentanyl mixtures in 48 of 50 states. The alert goes on to say that xylazine is making the fentanyl crisis the deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced. 

Xyalzine and fentanyl drug mixtures place users at a higher risk for overdose. Not only is xylazine a central nervous depressant, but it can also cause skin ulcers, skin infections, sepsis and rotting of human tissue. And unlike fentanyl, xylazine is not an opioid, so it does not respond to naloxone.  

Where is Tranq Coming From? 

According to the CDC, 107,735 Americans died between August 2021 and August 2022 from drug poisonings, and 66 percent involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The primary sources for these drugs are the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco Cartel in Mexico, using chemicals mainly sourced from China. 

The cartels traffic these drugs into communities across the United States. California’s cities have already been rocked by the fentanyl crisis, so it’s only natural that tranq is a major concern. One proposed policy solution is to create safe injection sites where drug users can safely use illegal drugs while under supervision. However, more than half of Californians disapprove of the sites.

How Dangerous is Xylazine? 

We already know how dangerous fentanyl is. It’s far more powerful than heroin and morphine, and just two milligrams can cause trouble breathing, dizziness and possible overdose. With xylazine, many users lose consciousness within minutes of taking the drug. It’s so powerful, it can keep someone knocked out for several hours or more, making it difficult to determine if they’ve overdosed. 

Here are some side effects of taking xylazine: 

  • Drowsiness
  • Amnesia
  • Slow breathing
  • Slow heart rate
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Skin ulcers
  • Skin infections  
  • Rotting abscesses 

When xylazine is combined with other drugs, such as fentanyl, cocaine, heroin, alcohol or benzodiazepines, the risks for complications and overdose are much greater. Just one time can be enough to kill a person, especially knowing that xylazine does not respond to naloxone. 

Get Help for an Opioid Use Disorder 

For those with an opioid use disorder, tranq might be the next step up. This powerful drug combination is often used in conjunction with other drugs like heroin or alcohol. It can lead to overdose and death the first time. 

Awakenings Treatment Center treats opioid use disorders of all severities. While tranq is a newer drug, we are comfortable treating individuals who are using this substance, along with others. Our holistic approach, evidence-based and alternative therapies, and compassionate team members make our facility a positive place to be, filled with hope for the future. 

Contact our admissions department to speak with us about our programs and how to take the first steps.