The animal tranquilizer xylazine mixed with opioids is causing an overdose epidemic in the Boston, Massachusetts area, according to WCVB News.
In the first half of 2022, xylazine was found in 5% of people who died of a opioid overdoes, according to toxicology tests. In June 2022, the tranquilizer was found in 28% of drug samples tested.
“It’s really unclear what it’s going to do over the long term, but it does have some pretty devastating short-term effects to a person who’s using it, Julie Burns, the president and CEO of RIZE Massachusetts, said. “Wounds, all kinds of abscesses, sores on their skin, as well as it doesn’t respond to Narcan.” (RELATED: Employee Speaks Out After Trans Activist Allegedly Pressured Video Game Company To Fire Her For 7-Year-Old)
Narcan is a drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
“We started to notice xylazine in the drug supply in Brockton probably about a year and a half ago definitively, but it probably was in the supply somewhat before that,” Allyson Pinkhover, the director of substance use services at Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, said.
Did you know: In just the first months of FY’23 there has already been 9⃣0⃣0⃣0⃣lbs of fentanyl seized at the border.
— Congressman Byron Donalds (@RepDonaldsPress) January 24, 2023
Health centers in the Boston area have been testing drugs for the substance, and have found that a third of fentanyl examples found have xylazine in them.
“I think as a whole, the medical community is not particularly well equipped to deal with the xylazine at this point,” Allyson Pinkhover, the director of substance use services at Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, said of the medical community’s ability to screen for the tranquilizer.
The opioid crisis cost the US $1.5 trillion during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to congressional report. The cost has risen 37% from what it was in 2017.
Republican Tennessee Rep. Diana Harshbarger has introduced legislation to fight pill dumping and suspicious opioid shipments in the country Friday.