National Security

Biden Admin To Increase Actions To Counter Growing Threat Of Fentanyl Laced With Animal Tranquilizer

(Photo by JUAN PABLO PINO/AFP via Getty Images)

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Jennie Taer Investigative Reporter
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The Biden administration is raising concerns over fentanyl being laced with animal tranquilizer, The Hill reported Wednesday.

The White House is labeling xylazine-laced fentanyl a new threat to Americans and is seeking to increase mechanisms to crack down on its increasing emergence in the illicit drug market, according to The Hill. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently warned of an increase in fentanyl mixed with xylazine, which is also known as “tranq,” a drug that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized solely for veterinary use. (RELATED: FDA Approves Over-The-Counter Opioid Antidote As Fentanyl Deaths Surge)

“I’m troubled about what I’ve learned about the devastating impact of the fentanyl xylazine combination, which is growing in youth across the nation,” Rahul Gupta, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), said on a call with reporters, according to The Hill.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – SEPTEMBER 27: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland tours The Faces of Fentanyl Memorial at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration headquarters on September 27, 2022 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Xylazine is resistant to naloxone, an overdose reversal drug, making it all the more deadly, according to the DEA. It’s also been known as a flesh-eating drug for humans, leading some to get limb amputations.

“Xylazine is making the deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced, fentanyl, even deadlier,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram  recently said in a statement. “DEA has seized xylazine and fentanyl mixtures in 48 of 50 States. The DEA Laboratory System is reporting that in 2022 approximately 23% of fentanyl powder and 7% of fentanyl pills seized by the DEA contained xylazine.”

The Biden administration is considering scheduling xylazine for prosecution purposes for its potential for abuse, Gupta said, according to The Hill.

“Testing for xylazine is uneven across the United States, which makes it hard to get the national picture. Many communities are not even aware of this threat in their backyard,” Gupta said, according to The Hill.

Roughly 70,000 people died in the U.S. from synthetic opioids in 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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