WASHINGTON – The
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is warning the American public of a
sharp increase in the trafficking of fentanyl mixed with xylazine.
Xylazine, also known as “Tranq,” is a powerful sedative that the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration has approved for veterinary use.
is making the deadliest drug threat our country has every faced,
fentanyl, even deadlier,” said Administrator Milgram. “DEA has seized
xylazine and fentanyl mixtures in 48 of 50 States. The DEA Laboratory
System is reporting that in 2022 approximately 23% of fentanyl powder
and 7% of fentanyl pills seized by the DEA contained xylazine.”
and fentanyl drug mixtures place users at a higher risk of suffering a
fatal drug poisoning. Because xylazine is not an opioid, naloxone
(Narcan) does not reverse its effects. Still, experts always recommend
administering naloxone if someone might be suffering a drug poisoning.
People who inject drug mixtures containing xylazine also can develop
severe wounds, including necrosis—the rotting of human tissue—that may
lead to amputation.
to the CDC, 107,735 Americans died between August 2021 and August 2022
from drug poisonings, with 66 percent of those deaths involving
synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco Cartel
in Mexico, using chemicals largely sourced from China, are primarily
responsible for the vast majority of the fentanyl that is being
trafficked in communities across the United States.
recently communicated to health care providers about the risks to
patients exposed to xylazine in illicit drugs. A copy of that
communication can be found here: FDA alerts healthcare professionals of risks to patients exposed to xylazine in illicit drugs.