An Emerging Illicit Street Drug is of Grave Concern

A recent New York Times article brought attention to a new illicit street drug using xylazine, an animal tranquilizer, that s being added to narcotics like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines, and in most cases contains fentanyl. 

In 2022, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) highlighted the emergence of this drug trend, known as tranq, in an interview with 101.5 FM. 

As fentanyl is being mixed more and more with street drugs, the same is now happening with xylazine.  Tranq can be very extremely dangerous, as it acts as a sedative exacerbating respiratory depression and increasing the chance of a fatal overdose when in combination with drugs like fentanyl.  Additionally, naloxone, the opioid reversal medication, will not reverse a tranq overdose as it is not an opioid.

Street drug traffickers will continue to look for new methods to make their drugs more addictive, and we must remain vigilant in the fight to raise awareness of these illicit street drugs and their links to prescription opioids.

I hope you will join in the next PDFNJ Knock Out Opioid Abuse Learning Series Webinar, Alternatives to Opioids at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 30 to learn more about the many alternatives that can be used instead of opioids for treating pain.

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