New York City has historically and is presently facing a challenge with the availability of drugs that lead to addiction and death by overdose. One of the most prevalent and dangerous drugs available to the residents of New York is the synthetic opioid Fentanyl, which is reportedly 100 times more potent than morphine. However, Tranq, formally called xylazine, is becoming more prevalent on the New York drug scene. Tranq is a veterinary drug meant to sedate large animals but drug users have taken to using it, mixing it with other drugs.
According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), drug users are mixing Tranq with Fentanyl. This is done to heighten and extend the high felt from the drugs. This has led to death by overdose along with the other effects of Tranq that include damage to the skin and bones, hence it being labeled as a “flesh-eating” drug.
“Xylazine is making the deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced, fentanyl, even deadlier,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram.
Tranq reportedly began growing in popularity in New York last year. It has reportedly spread across New York City, making Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sent out a warning.
“Now we all know what a scourge fentanyl has been across the New York area – New York City, Long Island, all the suburbs – but now we’re seeing a new even worse type of drug being mixed with fentanyl. It’s also mixed with heroin and other addictive substances. This new drug could be a nightmare. It’s called xylazine,” Schumer said. “It’s a deadly, skin-rotting zombie drug that evil drug dealers are now mixing with fentanyl, with heroin, and with other drugs. And it’s already bringing a horrific wave of death and overdose to upstate New York, and it’s on its way to New York City and Long Island where we’ve already seen it begin to rear its ugly head.”
“The results are deadly. It can rot your skin. It can eat away at your bones. It can cause legs to be amputated,” Schumer said. “And worse, xylazine can make fentanyl look tame because it doesn’t respond to Narcan. This evil drug – it’s not evil when it’s used legitimately – but this evil drug has no Narcan. Narcan has saved hundreds of thousands of lives.”
According to Senator Schumer, 20 Long Island autopsies from 2022 showed the deceased had Tranq in their bodies; 16 in Suffolk County and four in Nassau County. Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan told the NY Post that 44 pounds of fentanyl mixed with tranq was discovered by police officers during a raid in Queens. According to The New York Times, tranq has been found in 48 states in the U.S. Philadelphia has been highlighted as the center of America’s Tranq crisis, with 90% of the tested lab samples from 2021 containing Tranq.