Xylazine Overdoses On the Rise
Fatal Overdoses Involving Animal Tranquilizer Xylazine on the Rise in CT
"Xylazine," a veterinary sedative commonly referred to as the "Zombie Drug," has made its way into the drug market. It is crucial to be aware of this drug's potential risks and dangers, which can lead to severe health consequences. To gain further insight into this issue, you can watch the news clip below, which features our UNCAS Mobile Health Team discussing the Xylazine epidemic.
It's crucial to understand that Xylazine is resistant to Narcan, which means that if an individual overdoses, the standard Narcan reversal procedure won't be effective.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Xylazine is a veterinary tranquilizer that is not approved for human use. It is a non-opioid substance that has been increasingly linked to overdose deaths nationwide in the ongoing drug addiction and overdose crisis. Studies have indicated that individuals who have been exposed to xylazine often use it in combination with other drugs, specifically illicit fentanyl, either knowingly or unknowingly.
Although the full extent of overdose deaths related to xylazine is unknown, research indicates that such deaths have increased significantly across the United States, with the greatest impact being in the Northeast. In Pennsylvania, for instance, the percentage of drug overdose deaths involving xylazine increased from 2% to 26% between 2015 and 2020. In 2021, xylazine was involved in 19% of all drug overdose deaths in Maryland and 10% in Connecticut in 2020.
Research has demonstrated that xylazine is frequently combined with illicit opioids such as fentanyl, with individuals reporting that they use xylazine-containing fentanyl to prolong its euphoric effects. In the majority of overdose deaths linked to both xylazine and fentanyl, additional substances were also involved, including cocaine, heroin, benzodiazepines, alcohol, gabapentin, methadone, and prescription opioids.
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). (2021, November 1). Xylazine. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/xylazine
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