Zombieland: America’s latest drug tragedy

Digital Originals

The city of Philadelphia has become the epicenter of flesh-eating, animal tranquilizer-laced drugs. According to authorities, traces of Xylazine, a powerful animal sedative, were found in nearly 19 percent of the deadly opioid overdoses in the city in 2021. Drugs mixed with Xylazine are also growing in New York.

‘Zombie drug’ has infiltrated the U.S. Disturbing images of a place dubbed ‘Zombieland’ in the U.S. are making the rounds on social media. The images were taken in the city of Philadelphia, the epicenter of opioids mixed with Xylazine.

Xylazine is an animal tranquilizer approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for veterinary use. It’s more commonly called the ‘Zombie drug’ or ‘Tranq’ and is used to augment Fentanyl.

“Everybody uses that to cut, everybody wants to get rich I guess. And it’s cheap, cheaper than heroin. So I guess that’s why they use it. It’s bad, but what are you going to do when you’re addicted?” Martin, a drug user told AFP

Xylazine is a sedative and can lead to a drop in heart rate and breathing issues in humans. It also causes severe skin ulcers, which could lead to infection and skin rotting.

“People go for a really long time without getting care. And then it just gets worse and worse and worse. Specifically, with the Xylazine ones, it just continues, the tissue in that area just continues to die until it reaches the bone or they have to have an amputation,” said Jazmyna Fanini, a Nurse for Saint Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction in an interview with AFP.

Traditional methods used to reverse overdoses in patients do not work with Xylazine.

Xylazine is currently not included in the federal Controlled Substances Act. Lawmakers have introduced bills this year to make it a controlled substance.

According to the CDC, the monthly percentage of Xylazine-laced Fentanyl deaths rose drastically. Among 21 U.S. jurisdictions, it increased by 276 percent from January 2021-June 2022.

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