DEA Warns 'Zombie Drug' Hitting US Streets, Set To Worsen Overdose Crisis
President Biden's efforts to end a nationwide drug crisis, which he promised to end during the 2020 election campaign, may face further challenges as the Drug Enforcement Administration issued an alert on Monday regarding a new concoction of fentanyl and a veterinary tranquilizer hitting American cities and towns.
"Xylazine is making the deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced, fentanyl, even deadlier," DEA Administrator Anne Milgram wrote in an alert on Monday.
The alert continued, "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."
𝐏𝐔𝐁𝐋𝐈𝐂 𝐒𝐀𝐅𝐄𝐓𝐘 𝐀𝐋𝐄𝐑𝐓: DEA warns of a sharp increase in trafficking of #Fentanyl mixed w/ #Xylazine, a powerful sedative @US_FDA approved for veterinary use. Because Xylazine is not an opioid, naloxone (Narcan) does not reverse its effects. https://t.co/L7uqCR3Ht5 pic.twitter.com/N5HW9kbKi6— DEA HQ (@DEAHQ) March 20, 2023
When combined, xylazine, a veterinary tranquilizer, also commonly known as "tranq," and fentanyl make drug overdoses even deadlier because the opioid overdose antidote, naloxone, also known as Narcan, won't reverse its effects.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses between August 2021 and August 2022. About two-thirds of the deaths involved synthetic opioids.
The grim statistics are a significant concern for the Biden administration, who promised to end the drug crisis during the 2020 election campaign. But with open borders and record amounts of migrants flooding into the US, it's no wonder the drug crisis is worsening.
Some have warned the proliferation of fentanyl, and surging overdose-related deaths nationwide should be designated as a "weapon of mass destruction."
"In spite of all their effort and the best intentions of the administration, the fentanyl crisis is getting tremendously worse and threatening an entire generation of young people.
"Criminal cartels in Mexico and China are continuing to act with impunity. We need greater enforcement powers and more accountability from our own government," Jim Rauh, founder of Families Against Fentanyl, an advocacy group, told FT last month.
The DEA's new alert of xylazine-laced fentanyl (some have called it the "zombie drug") should concern all Americans because it renders Narcan useless.
Un nuevo medicamento, llamado Xylazine, o “tranq”, ha causado estragos en ciudades de los EE. UU. al causar síntomas mortales, como la pudrición de la piel. La Administración de Drogas y Alimentos (FDA) de la nación autorizó este "fármaco zombi" para su uso veterinario. pic.twitter.com/JUnC4IrrcX— Rufino Liebana Carmona (@RufinoLiebana) February 24, 2023
Hot new drug "Tranq" is causing people's skin to fall off pic.twitter.com/PSnR43HoaY— HARD FACTOR (@HardFactorNews) March 1, 2023
*Today In #Portland* Fentanyl Junkie Obstructs Driveway in Alphabet District— Brandon Farley (Portland Journalist) (@TheRealFarley) March 3, 2023
You're going to work, one morning; as good citizens do; trying to put food on the table for the family, and this is what you see on your way out the door. #Measure110 #Oregon #Tranq pic.twitter.com/gcvT4YEJDB
Dude is tweaking hard and could this be a tranq sore? pic.twitter.com/kYQpWuIpen— 1r0nm41d3n (@1r0nm41d3n13) March 1, 2023