‘Zombie Drug’ Is Wreaking Havoc Across The US

(Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP) (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images)

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A new drug with horrifying side effects is ravaging cities across the country.

Xylazine, also known as “tranq” or “zombie drug,” is growing in popularity in major metro areas across the United States. The drug has gained notoriety for its tendency to cause the user’s skin to rot. According to the FDA, the drug causes symptoms similar to opioid use, making it difficult to distinguish between users of the two.

Use of the drug results in the user feeling relaxed and sedated. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves Xylazine for use by veterinarians, but not for humans, meaning that the substance itself is not illegal.

The drug took root in Philadelphia before spreading westward to cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. It was originally used to cut heroin but has recently been found in fentanyl as well.

“It’s too late for Philly,” outreach worker Shawn Westfahl told The New York Times. “Philly’s supply is saturated. If other places around the country have a choice to avoid it, they need to hear our story.”

Raw wounds often form and spread on the skin due to use of the drug. If left untreated, the skin can rot or lead to an even more grisly consequence: amputation.