Philadelphia’s Xylazine Drug Epidemic

Xylazine drug is discussed by New Life Medical Addiction Services

Heroin used to be the drug of choice for opioid users in Philadelphia , but now, the Xylazine drug, also known as “Trank” or “Tranq”, has become pervasive among opioid users, especially in the City and South Jersey. Trank is an animal tranquilizer linked to thousands of drug overdoses in the Philly and South Jersey areas and across the nation as well.

What is Xylazine?

The Xylazine drug is a veterinary sedative that is used with horses and a variety of other animals. Xylazine is not approved for human medical use in the United States because it is known to cause dangerous side effects in people, including low blood pressure and a reduced heart rate.

Typically used for large animals, Xylazine is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for human consumption. Furthermore, overdose reversal drugs like naloxone won’t halt its effects.

For reasons that are unclear, Trank use in the U.S. seemed to have originated in Philadelphia and then migrated from the mid-Atlantic region into the interior towards Ohio, Michigan and beyond. Word on the street is that some are injecting the drug unwittingly, while others seek out the sedative to lengthen the high of traditional opioids.

When Xylazine is mixed with opioids like heroin or fentanyl, the combination can be lethal. Disturbingly, Trank also has the side effect of causing deep wounds and body sores that can become infected and which eventually result in amputations. These medical problems are exacerbated by the fact that some rehab facilities won’t accept anyone with untreated lesions for fear of spreading infectious diseases.

The drug was first detected in fewer than 2% of fatal overdoses between 2010 and 2015, but that number rose to about 31% in 2019, according to data from Philadelphia Department of Public Health researchers. It’s now showing up in about 93% of samples tested since November 2020.

From what I can see, Trank is like the kitchen sink. Drug dealers seem to tale whatever cutting agents and drugs they have left they mix it all up and press them into a pill. So every batch is different. It can be any combination of products from Fentanyl, Benzos , stimulants even MDMA.” Said Joel Albano, New Life’s Chief Administration Officer/Co-Founder.

Kensington, which is the epicenter of the Philadelphia’s opioid crisis, is considered ground zero of the area’s Xylazine drug explosion.

Local drug traffickers use Xylazine as a cutting agent to extend supplies of heroin and fentanyl. Since Xylazine not a controlled substance and can be legally purchased online police aren’t making large seizures.

Pennsylvania health officials believe that many people abusing drugs are becoming dependent on the Xylazine-Fentanyl combination and seeking out “tranq dope” as they experience withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, please contact the addiction management specialists at New Life Medical Addiction Services, located in Marlton, New Jersey.

feel free to call us today at: 856-942-3700 or send us a Text Message.

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